Pooya Commentary


[ Shia Muslim religious scholar comments on some verses of God’s book.]

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By: Ayatollah Mahdi Pooya

Surah Al Fatihah


The Holy Prophet said:
There is no prayer (salat) without al Fatihah, and bismillahir rahmanir rahim is one of its verses.
The Ahlalbayt (the thoroughly purified members of the family of the Holy Prophet), and the scholars, who follow their teachings, time and again, had verified this saying of the Holy Prophet. So according to Muhammad and ali Muhammad bismillahir rahmanir rahim is a verse by itself, which, if not recited as a part of al Fatihah, the prayer is rendered null and void. It is not only the component of al Fatihah but also of every surah except al Bara-at.
In the light of the clear decisions and evidences of the practical acts of the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt, the arguments of the dissenting scholars carry no weight. According to the Holy Prophet and his divinely chosen Ahlalbayt bismillahir rahmanir rahim is the first of the seven verses of al Fatihah. And when Muhammad and ali Muhammad have said so, there remains no doubt whatsoever. Any opinion contrary to the verdict of Muhammad and ali Muhammad is pure conjecture.


There is no fitting equivalent, in the English or any other language, to convey and express the essential essence of the word ALLAH. In the earlier times the idea of a "supreme being" was conveyed to man by the prophets of Allah, but due to the general low level of knowledge, a single word, containing the all-embracing sense and significance of the supreme, universal and absolute being, was not made known.
"Father" may imply creativeness but, in no way, refers to compassion, beneficence and mercy. The word father implies that the father of the universe had a father and a mother who gave birth to him, because it does not indicate that the father of the heaven and the earth had no father or mother to bring him into being. It also fails to establish his uncreated self-existing eternity, unless explanatory words are added. The word Allah is a compound of the definite article al and the noun ilah, meaning "that God". The literal meaning of ilah is "puzzling" if waliha is the source, and "referred to" if it is derived from aliha; in either sense, it can be used for the supreme being unto whom man must surrender.

The word Allah points to that which is already in the consciousness, but cannot be arrested by comprehension, or conceived mentally. It is universal, because it is connected with the whole as well as with the part. Whether the word Allah is a proper noun or a common noun, because of the article al, is a solvable controversy. The common noun ilah, appropriating definite sense with the definite article al, referring to that which is universally known and recognised by every conscious being, unconfinable to form or concept, never to be two or more save one, becomes a proper noun.
So it is concised in the word Allah, giving it the unique unity of the sense of a proper noun. It must be noted that as the absolute can never be perceived by consciousness, so it cannot be defined by any name. One can refer to Him by personal pronouns, of which "He" (huwa) is the most suitable. The word Allah stands for the absolute self, the greatest name (ism azam), the one perfect total of all good and excellence with no defect.
In contemporary commentaries it is speculated that the word Allah might have been derived from the Hebrew uluhim. Allahumma is closer to uluhim than Allah, because the infidels, very intimate associates of the Jews, were more familiar with Allahumma than Allah, which was a new development. At any event what has been said earlier is further substantiated by the argument put forward to indicate the etymological development of the word.


The words rahman and rahim point out to the essence of one divine attribute-rahmah (mercy or grace), yet, in application, each demonstrates a distinct aspect of the divine mercy. He is rahman to all His creation, one and all, be they obedient or disobedient; and He is rahim to the faithful who do good and receive His mercy as a reward, or as an appreciation of the goodness of their souls.
Rahmah (grace), which is the root of both the words rahman and rahim, is the most comprehensive attribute of Allah. It is the source which initiates and stimulates His activities. Creation, sustenance of the creatures, guidance and legislation are the outcome of His universal grace. Mercy or grace stands for active willingness to give with no strings attached, without expectation of return, just for the well-being and good of His dear created beings.
No being is out of His grace. Rahman signifies the (all) penetrating and (all) enveloping universal grace of Allah. But every one receives His mercy according to his ability of receiving and containing, in relation to its usefulness for each individual, neither less nor more than that which is appropriate and equitable. To give more than what one deserves would mean to waste the grace. Therefore the worthiness on the part of the creature itself restricts or limits the measure of grace to be bestowed. The manner of giving is just. His justice is as universal as His grace. In short, as he gives to each and all unreservedly and with no expectation of return, His gift is grace; and as He gives to each according to its merits His gift is justice. This grace subject to merit is implied in the attribute rahim.
Grace and justice are not two separate attributes, in fact, one cannot be conceived without the other. They, together, are responsible for every activity in the realm of creation and the laws controlling the operation of creation. Every being, in the scheme of existence, under all circumstances, represents His grace and justice, whereas many theological and secular theories, based upon conjecture and insufficient knowledge, suppose that grace and justice are two contradictory dispositions of Allah.



To find out the truth in connection with the praise and the praising (hamd) the question as to who praises whom, must be answered. Man can praise Allah if his existence is presumed to be as eternal as Allah, whereas, in fact, it is Allah who created man and taught him how to praise. Truly, the praise as well as the praising both belong to Allah. Allah is the hamid, the praiser, and also the mahmud, the praised. There is none else other than Allah who is the subject as well as the object of the praise, and in this sense no one can share His praise. This is implied in the preposition li (for), which signifies the exclusive authorisation.
Hamd, adoration through praise, takes the place of gratitude to be expressed for getting favours and bounties. Man, by nature, shows his readiness to yield to love and compassion, even to the extent of unconditional surrender. To depend upon the co-operation and help of others is human. When he finds that someone, attached to him, is taking interest in his well-being, he is automatically drawn to him. His desire for a happy life makes him go after that which helps and protects, and avoid that which he finds harmful to his existence and welfare. By realising that praise, in any form or content, must be for Allah, and for no one else, and that Allah alone deserves every praise and adoration, man is freed from the fear of awesome tyranny, corruption and servitude which he presumed that the dreadful and false gods would inflict upon him. On the contrary now he knows that his real master is the Lord of beneficence and mercy whom he approaches through His praise . He is free to get as near to Him as he likes in order to earn more and more from the bountiful benefactor who Himself is ready to bestow favours and bounties, in abundance, on the sincere seeker and on those on whose behalf He is beseeched.
The Arabic word shukr implies gratitude for some particular favour, whereas hamd, without reference to any particular quality, is an objective gratitude, for all that is good and gracious, profitable and advantageous. It may also involve the idea of free, unrestricted and unqualified admiration. But, again, admiration refers to the Arabic word madh which is used both for the animate as well as the inanimate objects, without necessarily implying that existence of the qualities admired depends on the conscious will of the object, in which case admiration will relate to the qualities admired, not to the possessor of those qualities. Allah is never praised in this sense. The prefix al confirms that hamd is for no one but Allah who alone, not merely on account of the manifestations of the divine attributes, but because He is the sole owner of those glorious qualities, deserves to be praised; identifying His self-existent absolute self. The qualities belong only to Him alone, to none else, and it is so for all times since eternity, and will be so till eternity. So, in this sense the English word "praise" should be understood and used as a translation of hamd.
Hamd (the praise) is Allah's. It has no beginning and no end. We, the created beings, do our best, within our limitations, to give expression to the "real praise" (hamd). His hamd, as His grace, is unlimited and continuous. No one can praise the merciful even for a whole life-time and say that justice has been done, because every time one gives thanks to Allah he inhales and also exhales, drawing in the good life-giving air and exhaling the bad air, two bounties he is receiving for which only once can he say "I thank the bountiful Lord". It is impossible to thank Allah for the innumerable bounties He has put at the disposal of man, right inside his body, and in the world where he lives as an individual as well as a member of the community. Even the thanks and praises he offers to the bountiful have been taught to him by the Lord of the worlds. Therefore, every creature is, all the time under the obligation of the bountiful grace of Allah.
By praising, we reach the stage where the infinite goodness of our Lord purges out of us the taste for evil and creates in us the eagerness to get nearer and nearer to Him to earn His mercy which purifies us and reflects in us the divine attributes.


Rububiyat speaks of another attribute - lutf , meaning tenderness and refinement in diffusing through every one's mind and feelings to know the needs and make available the necessary means of satisfaction. This position gives authority to exercise legislative powers which, in fact, justifies the establishment of the office of nabuwat and imamat.

The above noted verses give the most credible explanation of the anchorage of all "efforts" or "strives". It is the sa-at or the qiyamat. As explained above the absolute ups and downs is a guidance for the solution of many theological terms of utmost importance such as mi-raj, qiyamat, the angelic spheres and the other abstract realms.

The actual malik (master) is He who exercises absolute authority over everything in His possession. Everything owes its existence to Him He is the absolute. Therefore, the use of the term "master" for the possession and the right of possession (malikiyyat), or power and authority (mulukiyyit) is true and real in the case of Allah only. For others it would be only figurative and unreal. This is also strictly applicable to all His other attributes.
Yawm (day), mentioned in the Quran, is not, on every occasion, the day of the earth, from sunrise to sunset. It can be a moment or a period of time extending even to fifty thousand years as per v 4 of al Ma-arij.
Therefore, according to the context in which it is used, the day may be of an indefinitely small or long period of time, not what we understand in terms of the orbit of the earth around the sun.
A thorough study of the Quran shows that whenever movement is mentioned, the downward course, or things descending from Allah to the terrestrial realm, are described as "night"; and the upward course, or things ascending towards Allah, are described as "day". The descending course is also described as nuzul.
The blowing of the trumpet (nufkhus sur; will breathe (spirits) into forms. All the creatures will take their final shape. The influence of time and space which separate one creature from the other will be removed. All will be brought together. It was He from whom everyone had come forth and unto Him every one shall return through the agency of the grace and guidance of (His) rububiyat. Each shall take up the position he or she is entitled on merit. Din is stipulated as such with reference to the yawmid din. Thus the masterdom of the malik assumes complete manifestation.
O man! Verily you are striving unto your Lord (with) a striving and are about to meet Him. (INSHIQAQ: 6)
And what will make you know what yawmiddin shall be?
And what will make you know what yawmiddin is?
(It is) a day on which no soul shall own anything (helpful) for any (other) soul; the absolute (supreme) command on that day shall be Allah's. (INFITAR: 17 - 19)
The ultimate, absolute and real authority belongs to Allah who is the first as well as the final cause of all creation. All the other authorities are unreal and imaginary. Therefore, the normal course to be adopted by man is that which has been stated above - striving unto the Lord.

All creatures, irrespective of social position or authority, in like manner, must submit to His will, and obey and worship Him. They have to seek His help in every activity. No one, not being equal to Him, is left out or exempted from His service. All are His servants. He is the original creator and the supreme law-giver. Every thing is created by Him, therefore, it has to abide by the laws He has made. No finite being can claim the rank of a god nor anyone can worship any finite being as a god, and also there is no room for ta-addud, the numeration of the infinite. The infinite is absolute and the finite is composite (a creature).
Man owes loyalty to none but Allah, and true loyalty demonstrates itself by making him do nothing but carry out the will and command of the master, abide by His instructions, and represent His pleasure. To pay homage to or bow down before even a stone by His order, or to seek help through the means approved and established by Him is, in fact, His worship, because it is in conformity with the loyalty a servant owes to his master. To employ ways and means, in contravention to His orders, even to worship Him, is disloyalty.
So far Allah has been referred to as He, His, and Him, third person singular pronouns. Now one feels that one is standing in the presence of the absolute, so it is time to address Him in the second person singular by using the word iyyaka which means "Thee alone" and none else, the negation of everything else other than Him and the assertion of the Only One. The created being, as an individual, disappears, and makes an appearance as a member of the community of the fellow creatures, a unique characteristic of the religion of Islam which unites individual and collective behaviour in perfect harmony to promote the cause of humanity.
No community or society of individuals can serve the Lord-master without an Imam (guide). It is also true that no one can be installed in this position except the person who represents His universal grace. Therefore the almighty Allah had sent the Holy Prophet as the "mercy unto the worlds". The reach and scope of the Holy Prophet's mission is as all-inclusive as Allah's rububiyat, which, of course, had established his finality (khatamiyat). According to some authentic traditions, the Holy Prophet, during the ascension (mi-raj), led the prayers attended by all the prophets and messengers of Allah, who had been sent, before him, as the representatives of the almighty Lord to guide mankind, together with the angels, which, again, had instituted his supreme leadership (imamat kubra). The institution of a supreme leader, to guide mankind in its collective obedience to and worship of the Lord of the worlds, is the basis of the essential Islamic form of government, approved by Allah. It means that absolute sovereignty is in the hands of Allah and it cannot be delegated to any one but to the person who represents His universal will and grace, who is in communion with Him, and who knows the relation of the infinite to the finite and the interrelationship between the finite beings.
Seek they other than the religion of Allah, when unto Him submits whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and unto Him they shall be returned. (ALI IMRAN: 83)
He is Allah, the creator, the master, the fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him, and He is the mighty, the wise. (HASHR: 24)
There is none in the heavens and the earth but must come unto the beneficent as a servant. (MARYAM: 93)
Keeping to the norm of the universal submission, man must also submit and surrender his will to Allah's will, and seek help from no one but Him. The Quran, in view of the execution and regulation of Allah's will, in the operation of creation, guides mankind to learn from the "book of creation".
This verse throws light on the doctrines of determinism and free-will, a controversial issue in philosophy, theology, ethics and jurisprudence. The act of obedience and seeking help prove that human being exercise freedom of choice, and, therefore, are responsible for their actions, because they are not passive targets of Allah's activity, but have been given free-will by Allah to make their own decisions and act upon them. Their free-will and its outcome are conditioned by Allah's will, order and providence. The will of Allah does not directly determine the deeds of creatures, making the creatures' will entirely ineffective, in which case they would not be responsible for their actions, as the determinists say. It is true that the creatures cannot exercise absolute free-will because their actions and judgements have to abide by the laws created and enforced by the will of Allah as explained earlier while making clear the meaning of the word taqdir. As Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir has said there is no predetermination as far as the activity of the created beings is concerned but every action is conditioned by the laws, made by Allah, operating the creation, so there can be no unbridled use of freedom. It is a conciliation between freedom of action and complying with the will of Allah.
In the Quran the predominance of Allah's will is mentioned to point out the overall supremacy of the laws made and enforced by Allah; and also the freedom of choice granted to man is confirmed to make it clear that although living beings have the freedom to do what they will, shouldering the responsibility of their actions, they cannot do away with the will of Allah. In common terminology it is a via media. Allah's activity can be described as "action", and the activity of the creature as "reaction". There cannot be a "reaction" without an "action". And if there is no "reaction" the action would be considered unproductive. In this sense Allah's action operates in the realm of creation to which the creatures, consciously or unconsciously, willingly or unwillingly, react. The action is conditioned by the nature of the "actor". The divine action, the outcome of Allah's boundless grace, can be nothing but pure good, but the reaction of the finite creature may take a different course and produce evil for which the bad receptivity of the finite creature should be held responsible. The Quran says:
Whatever good befalls you (O man) it is from Allah, and whatever of evil befalls you, it is from yourself; (NISA: 79)

llyyaka na-budu wa iyyaka nasta-in is the norm of human activity. Man must obey Allah's will, and seek His help, which also is obedience to Him. Human life is a striving to reach the absolute perfection, Allah. However perfect man's attainment be in this direction, it will still be finite. Only the infinite is absolute perfection. The distance between the infinite and the finite is infinite. Man's effort and strive in the way to perfection, by perpetual obedience and quest for help and guidance, should be continuous, then alone he can keep to the right path which leads to Allah.

Wherever you turn you shall find (only) His manifestation. (BAQARAH; 115)
Therefore, it may be said that all paths lead to Him, whether the path is straight or curved. Though it is true that every creation, in some way or the other, is His manifestation, yet that which is closer to His essence in comprehensiveness and gives a better vision of His unity, absoluteness and omnipotence, is more effective in making clear His supreme being. To follow the track of such manifestations is, in fact, itself the right path, which has been instituted by the almighty Allah as the true guidance.
A sure and clear view of the straight path is possible when there is a model or a guiding example. The Quran identifies it as the path of those on whom Allah has bestowed His bounties.
Who so obeys Allah and the messenger (Muhammad), they are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favours, of the prophets, and the truthful, and the witnesses, and the righteous; and the best are they as companions!
(NISA: 69)
Whereby Allah guides him who follows His pleasure, into the ways of peace, and brings them out of darkness unto light by His grace (will), and guides them to the right path. (MA-IDAH: 16)
Though His bounties are the outcome of His universal grace (rahmaniyat), encompassing all His creatures,
"My grace (mercy) embraces all things", (ARAF: 156),
yet out of His rahimiyat He has chosen the prophets, the truthful, the witnesses, the righteous, and those who follow their footsteps, in letter and spirit, as His friends. Even those who had been thoroughly purified by Allah and whose path has been described as an ideal for the whole mankind, had always turned to Allah because the (two bows' length or nearer) distance, between theirs and the infinite beings' perfection, was visible to them only. So man must aspire to rise higher and higher, then only he becomes aware of the distance and submits unconditionally to the supreme being.
There is no need to take ghayril maghdubi as the qualifying adjectival clause for the personal pronoun alayhim, or the relative pronoun alladhina, as Zamaqshari says, because an-amta alaykim is a restriction. Therefore, these two clauses should be taken as appositional clauses in the negative form. Ghayril maghdubi and waladdallin are those who have deviated from the right path, to follow which has been made obligatory by Allah, and by overstepping the prescribed limits have gone astray. By doing so they have earned the wrath of Allah. Those who neither fall short of and lag behind (taqsir), nor overstep the boundaries (ghulu), in fact, walk on the right path of the Holy Prophet. The Jews are said to be in the category of maghdubi, as an example of taqsir, and the Christians in the category of dallin, as an example of ghulu, but truly, those who fall short of and lag behind in the matter of carrying out Allah's commands are included in the maghdubi and those who overstep the boundaries and transgress the limits, laid down by Allah, are included in the dallin.
The Holy Prophet who, according to the Quran, "neither errs, nor is deceived, nor he speaks of (his own) desire", positively asked his followers to adhere to and abide by the guidance his Ahlalbayt (Ali and his descendants) would reveal and demonstrate, after him, as his divinely chosen successors. Who so, among his ummah, makes less their divinely set up position, renders himself liable to be grouped with the maghdubi; and who so elevates and exalts the men of ordinary character to higher status of spiritual guides, not confirmed by Allah and His prophet, renders himself liable to be joined with the dallin. Likewise those who glorify the prophets and their successors as gods are also condemnable as dallin.

Surah Al Baqarah

Ayatollah Mahdi Pooya says:
Many interpretations have been forwarded and manipulated by some commentators, but they are all based upon conjecture, devoid of any definite authority. According to the holy Imams these letters are a means of reaching the higher realms of true knowledge, available in the verses of the Quran, but the domain of sublime confidences are reserved only for the chosen representatives of Allah.

Dhalika (that), a demonstrative pronoun, refers to something distant, but, in Arabic, sometimes is also used to indicate a highly revered object, even if it is close at hand. This book, the word of Allah, in the sphere of revelation, is complete, comprehensive, sublime and worthy of reverence, in the highest possible degree. Therefore, here and in many other sentences dhalika is used to refer to this holy book; and tilka, the feminine gender of dhalika, is used to refer to its verses. Whether translated as this or that, it refers to that which is in our hands.
Al kitab, the book, has been named Quran, derived from the verb qura-a, which means to recite or to read. Therefore, the literal meaning of Quran is recitation, in the light of v 16 to 19 of al Qiyamah, and in view of v 185 of al Baqarah, it is a guidance with clear proofs, and a distinction.
It is furqan - that which teaches us to distinguish between good and evil, according to v 1 of al Furqan, on account of its containing the principles of good and evil, and also the conditions of reward and punishment. It is also called furqan because of its gradual delivery, part by part, according to v 106 and 107 of Bani Israil. According to v 9 of al Hijr, it is dhikr, the reminder.
Al kitab is hakim (a decisive book of divine wisdom), aziz (a unique book of natural beauty), hamid (praiseworthy), majid (glorious), karim (bounteous and honoured) and mubin (clear and expressive).
It is also ummul kitab, the mother book. The application of this title is with regard to the clear revelations, beyond all ambiguity (ayat ul muhkamat) - they are the substance of the book as per v 7 of Ali Imran, in the light of which the rest of the book is explained.
There are many other substitute expressions of the above noted description of al kitab, mentioned in the verses of the Quran, some of which have been listed on page 1. Also many important aspects of the book have been discussed in the "essentials for the readers of the Quran", from page 1 to 7.
The Quran has been specified as the book, as well as, the word or sentence of Allah. The book and the word are the vehicles of thought and will. When the expression of thought or will, or both, are written, giving stability and simultaneity to the components, it is a book, whereas the word is only the spoken expression. Although the expression, whether written or spoken, is attributable to the knowledge and the ability of the author or speaker, it is absurd to refer to the work of the author or speaker as his attribute, because knowledge or ability, and not its outcome, is the attribute.
In normal sense, the word is produced by highly organised functions of the vocal organs of living beings; and a book is the result of the elaborate labour of man's hand, pen, paper and ink etc. This does not apply to the word and the book of Allah. According to Imam Ali ibna abi Talib, the word of Allah is not a spoken expression in the sense of sound but is a divine will. He said:
It is not a sound that strikes the ear, nor a voice to be heard. Verily His words are His work, originated by Him.
His work, originated by Him, had stability and simultaneity prior to its gradual delivery to the visible world; and after the appearance in the lowest sphere of manifestation, this stable and simultaneous work became His book. Therefore, it has continuity, in the order of descent, by the continuity of His will. In view of these two aspects, all that has been created (the whole and its parts) is His word, the effect of His creative will. On account of its stability and the simultaneity of its parts the whole creation is a book of Allah i.e. the written expression of His will and thought.
Generally, the endurance of the written expression does not depend upon the existence of its author, or the continuity of his attention. But the relation between the created and the creator, as pointed out by the Quran, is like the ray of light to its source; the reaction to the action; the reflection to the radiation; the speech to the continuity of attention and the will to speak; or the mental process to the attention. Also, as the speech is related to the speaker, so too the genesis, survival, continuity and simultaneity of the parts of every finite being is related to the continuity of the attention and will of the infinite, the creator. Viewing the creation from this angle, it is the word of Allah. Therefore, the effect or outcome of the divine will and knowledge is the book, as well as, the word of Allah.
Allah is the absolute and the ultimate authority in the domain of creation (what is), as well as, in the domain of legislation (what ought to be). In the "what is", there is no place for the will of the creature. In the "what ought to be", the will of the creature operates as a reaction. With reference to the "what is", the book of Allah is the kitab ul takwini. In connection with the "what ought to be", it is the kitab ul tashri-i. The source of both the books, the takwini and the tashri-i (under the process of tanzil, the gradual delivery), is with Allah, immeasurable, but the revealed form, He had sent down, is in a known measure (see v 21 of al Hijr). Nazul or the revelation is a term applied in the Quran to the process of descent from the infinite to the finite, in creation as well as in legislation. The divine revelation, in legislation, passes through the same stages of intellectual, angelical and non-material agencies, as it does in creation. In creation, the last stage of revelation is that when it is exposed to our senses, termed as alam shahadat (the visible world), and alam malak (the world of cause and effect). In legislation the last stage of revelation is the heart (power to visualise) of the Holy Prophet, prior to its utterance. Therefore, this revelation (legislation) is in complete conformity with the revelation regarding creation.
Imam Ali ibna abi Talib says:
Although you see yourself as a "nothing to speak of" origin, in you is summed up the vast universe; and, therefore, you are the meaningful book whose words make clear the unknown.
Thus man is the synthesis of kitab ul takwini, or a brief summary of the universe, a microcosm (alam saghir), and the universe is a universal man (insan ul kabir). Each can be viewed in the light of the other. This is only applicable to a man who has reached the superlative sphere of intellectual attainment and is capable of direct communion with the absolute, which is the highest stage of obedience (ububiyat). It is applicable to the last prophet of Allah. And it is applicable to those whom he had identified with himself in such attainment. It is unanimously agreed and universally acknowledged by all schools of Islam that the Holy Prophet did not identify anyone with himself nor himself with anyone save Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, Husayn and the other nine Imams of his house.
The Holy Prophet had said:
I and Ali are from "one and same" divine light.
The first of us is Muhammad,
the middle of us is Muhammad,
the last of us is Muhammad,
every one of us is Muhammad.
Next to the Holy Prophet and those mentioned above, are the other prophets and messengers of Allah, according to their various degrees of attainment. To each of them the word and the book of Allah, in the realm of legislation, had been revealed, keeping in view their respective degree of attainment as the microcosm and purposeful book of creation. The higher a prophet was in his attainment, the more comprehensively was the word and the book revealed to him. The last prophet, in his ascent, reached the maximum stage of qaba aw adna (two bows length, or even nearer - Najm:9), therefore, the word and the book revealed to him was the most comprehensive, the most expressive, and the final revelation, tammat kalimatu rabbika sidqan wa adla (and perfect is the word of your Lord in truth and justice) - See v 115 and 116 of al An-am.
While explaining the word and the book, in their origin and in the various stages of their revelation down to the visible world, the process of descent from the infinite to the finite and from the absolute unity to manifold multiplicity has been dealt with. Now it must be mentioned, as pointed out earlier, that the process of creation is circular in nature, and all that which has been created should return to the original source, therefore, the ascent, from the finite to the infinite, and from multiplicity to unity, necessarily follows the same stages of the descent in reverse.
He regulates (all) affairs from heaven to the earth; then it shall ascend unto Him.
Also refer to v 2 of al Saba, and v 11 of al Rum.
Whatever comes into existence in the lowest realm, be it a substance, an accident, or an action, appears in the highest in a refined form, or correspondingly retains its refined impression. These impressions may be termed as the divine books of the hereafter (kutub ma badut tabiyy) i.e. books post-physical, in the same way as the impressions present in the process of revelation, prior to the visible world, may be termed as book pre-physical. The origin and the absolute reality behind the phenomenon, the universe, in all its stages and phases, is identified with the infinite excellence. Therefore, it must be said that the stages, in both the arcs of descent and ascent, together with their contents, closer to the infinite, are more real than the stages further from the absolute. In fact the lower stages are the impressions, images and reflections of the real entities in the higher stages.
And there is not a thing but with Us are its treasures, and We do not send it down but in a known measure.
(HIJR: 21 )
In the initial stages of contemplation, the things perceptible to the senses look real, and all that which is out of sight (beyond perception) appears to be imaginary, but when the intellectual observation and vision grasps the above view point and reaches beyond, this state of mind will give the impression of unreality and the ideas beyond take the shape of reality. So, the things which appear in the sensual realm are merely of an illusory nature, unreal; because their reality lies in the realm beyond. This imperative condition is applicable to the book of creation (kitab ul takwini), the visible phenomenon of creation, as well as the revealed book of legislation (kitab ul tashri-i). To deny the existence of the Quran, or the other sacred scriptures, prior to their advent in their visible form, means the denial of the proceeding of the universe from the infinitely perfect absolute. It would be an unreasonable denial based upon a negative approach (from the imperfect to the perfect and from the unconscious to the conscious), because the basis of pure scientific investigation is that "a thing cannot come out of nothing." Or were they created by nothing? (Tur: 35) The truth that whatever appears in the visible world has had a pre-existence in some form in the book (the unseen world), as stated in v 22 of al Hadid, has to be accepted.
The Quran, in v 38 and 39 of al Rad says that "for every term (age) there is a book (a written record) prescribed; (of it) Allah effaces what He wills, and confirms (what He wills); and with Him is the mother of the book (basic source)." It means that for every fixed term or period there is a book which is subject to change. Also for every soul and for every community there is a book (see v 10 of al Munafiqun) and each of these has two books, the book prior to its existence and the book after its existence (see v 27 and 28 of al Jathiyah, and v 13 and 14 of Bani Isra-il). All these partial books, dealing with conduct and character and various aspects, prior to or after the visible appearance, are included in the ummul kitab, which is with Allah (see v 38 and 39 of al Rad), represented here by the Quran which is ummul kitab, as well as, kitab ul mubin. Therefore, all references to al-kitab indicate the Quran either in its revealed form or in its form prior to revelation.
The Quran is the sum total of the word and the book of Allah. It is the map of the universe. Its letters, words, clauses, sentences, chapters, parts, and symbols, jointly or severally, signify the facts of the creation in its circular process. To read and understand any map, a fixed scale is required, without which it would be a meaningless mass of unrelated and irrelevant dots and lines having no value or significance. Therefore, in the case of the Quran, those who do not make use of the "real scale", remain unattached, go astray and wander in the wilderness of ignorance and confusion. The Quran refers to this fact.
"Verily, We sent Our messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the book and the scale, that mankind may observe right measure (establish themselves in justice):
Reason, with its limitations, can be applied as a scale, but the Quran provides the clear guidance as to who are the true scale.
Verily (indeed) it is Quran honourable,
in a book, hidden,
which none touches save the purified.
(WAQI-AH: 77 to 79)
The touch, mentioned in the above verse, is not physical in nature, but is purely intellectual and spiritual, which implies total identification of the known, the knowing and the knower, inseparable from each other. Therefore, only the thoroughly purified souls, as shown in the above verse, can be in touch with the Quran in its pre-revealed form, as it is in the hidden book. The Quran clearly identifies such persons who have been thoroughly purified by Allah Himself to the perfect degree in v 33 of al Ahzab. They are the Ahlalbayt, the people of the holy house. The well known and the most authentic declaration of the Holy Prophet (Hadith Thaqalayn) is the confirming interpretation of these verses. The holy book and the holy Ahlalbayt are inseparably identified with each other from their origin, down in the arc of descent, and up again in their ascent (return) to the presence of the maliki yawmid din. It makes no difference whether the term imamum mabin, in v 12 of Ya Sin, is interpreted either as the Ahlalbayt or as the Quran, for these two are neither separate from each other nor will ever be separable, because one reflects the other.
And everything we have confined into a clear expressive guide. (YA SIN:12)
The revealed book, in our hands, does not speak, and is therefore mute (samit); whereas the Ahlalbayt by being able to speak are eloquent (natiq). This conclusion is based upon the Quran and the wording of the Holy Prophet. Whoever does not accept it, does so, based on his own conjectural discretion. Whatever is said while explaining the verses of the Quran, throughout this commentary, is based upon the unambiguous verses of the book itself, the authentic traditions of the Holy Prophet, the holy Ahlalbayt and true logical reasoning.
In view of the explanation of the word and the book of Allah, the opinion held by some people of importance, as an article of faith, that the Quran is uncreated, eternal and co-existing with the being of Allah, like His attributes, becomes unacceptable. The word or writing of Allah is His work, not His essential attribute. The idea of coexistence of His work with His being was imported from the Christian ideology which was borrowed from Jewish Alexandrian philosophy. The Quran repeatedly presents the whole creation and its every part and particle as the word (work) of Allah, the outcome of His creative will and attention, or His legislative will and attention.
By disclosing the correct meaning of the term word, applicable to every creature, the Quran refutes the efforts of the Christian theologists to establish Christ as the co-existing being with God by calling him the divine word after (erroneously) assuming that the word of God is uncreated and eternal. According to the Quran the unusual birth of Isa does not exempt him from being a created obedient servant of Allah.
Verily, the likeness of Isa (Jesus) with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust,
Also see v 16 to 38 in Maryam. In the book of Luke (3:38) Adam has also been referred to as the son of God, which clearly implies that the word "son" has been substituted for "the chosen servant" of God. Thus Isa was one of the obedient servants of the Lord in the same sense as Adam was one of His chosen servants, and nothing more.
The Quran in full, in parts and in its arrangement, is the work of Allah. There is no doubt in it. In v 41 and 42 of Ha Mim, it has been made clear that the book, in our hands, is the same as revealed to the Holy Prophet, both in its quantity as well as in its arrangement. It was revealed to him as a complete book. The gradual delivery, part by part, verse by verse or chapter by chapter to the people, on various occasions, does not mean that the revelation to him was also gradual or piecemeal. He recited it as and when necessary, under divine instruction, which only regulated the delivery. It is a historical fact that the arrangement of the verses was not made according to any chronological order, but that the passages delivered in the later period were put by the order of the Holy Prophet, into the respective chapters delivered in the earlier period, because he knew beforehand, to which chapter each verse belonged. This would not have been possible unless the whole and complete book, in its present arrangement, had already been with him, duly revealed, prior to its delivery to the people. For those who treat the Holy Prophet as an ordinary man who passed his forty years in ignorance, astray and bewildered, prior to the endowment of the prophetic mission, when the holy ghost, Jibra-il, taught him bismillah, as in the case of a child, the gradual revelation, scattered and with no proper arrangement, may be justified; but for those who see the Holy Prophet in his true position, which is repeatedly asserted by the Quran; that he never followed, in any period of his life, any path or creed except the divine religion, rightly know and believe that he was chosen and commissioned right from the beginning, to deliver that which had already been revealed to him.
The root word of taqwa (to adopt protection or to be on guard) is waqiya (protection). It is not fair to associate taqwa with fear. In view of His universal mercy and grace there should be no fear. One should be afraid of ungodliness and its influence. Walking on the finer than a hair and sharper than a sword right path, a complete submission to Allah's will, brings success. It is a very difficult exercise unless man remains on guard, at every moment, against the danger of straying off the path. either by falling short or by exceeding the boundaries. This state of cautiousness and precaution is taqwa, the highest form of godmindedness. Taqwa wherever it is used in the Quran, means to take refuge with Allah, by total submission to His will, from straying off the right path. Ali ibna abi Talib says "obedience to Him is freedom from bondage" (ta-atahu ghina). Poor and enslaved are those who disobey Him and go astray. In total submission to His will lies independence, freedom and deliverance. Taqwa is used in the sense of fear only in prepositional form-see v 28 of Ali Imran. Taking taqwa in this sense some of the holy Imams used the word taqiyyah, a precaution against the evildoers who abuse and destroy the faith and the faithful. Taqiyyah means not to disclose or make public one's faith or some articles of faith to the aggressive mischief-mongers, or to those who are not fit to grasp the truth. This is godliness and paying attention to Allah's will.
The literal meanings of iman, islam and din, used frequently in the Quran, are very close to each other. The submission of thoughts and feelings to the object of belief is iman. To surrender willingly, inwardly as well as outwardly, to the will (of a supreme being) is islam. A deeply rooted dutiful, devoted, submissive and abiding approach, by nature and in appearance, towards "the approved discipline" is din. Din has been used variously to mean judgement, subjugation, religion, to do good, to obey, to advance a loan, to take into account, to reward and to punish, but the root is that which has been stated above, which also implies all the given meanings.
According to v 14 and 15 of al Hujurat islam is the outward obedience and iman is the inward submission. Islam and iman become synonymous when islam is used with reference to inward submission and iman is used with reference to outward obedience. Let us examine the state of mind in connection with iman and din. All the mental tendencies and faculties together with their allied phenomenon is rooted in the human ego or the conscious-self, referred to as "I". The ego, endowed with self-consciousness, loves itself. This self-love is followed by the involvement and concern for self-protection, self-maintenance and self-advancement .
Self-love creates and promotes the emotions of devotion, hatred, lust, and anger, also feelings and imagination, thinking and contemplation. The love for self-preservation creates the lust (hunger) for food, which is responsible for the development of the sense of taste. It also enables to feel repulsion for that food which is harmful. This repulsion is termed as anger. The desire to preserve the self, in all times, through reproduction, is carried out by the sexual lust. It is because of self-love, that man loves that which belongs to him and to which he refers to as "mine" - parents, children, relatives, community and surroundings with which, in some way or the other, he is associated. Things which he feels as not his own or opposed to his interest, create repulsion in him. Man's activities are the expression of either the love or repulsion that he feels, whether or not the object of love or repulsion is within the control of his will power. With regard to those objects which are within the control of his will power, a lust for domination is developed. But if the object, loveable or repulsive, useful or harmful, is beyond his control, a sense of awe and reverence associated with the desire for an approach through surrender, submission and appeasement is developed, believing that the object is sacred. This submissive state of mind is described as din, and its expression takes the form of sacrifice (qurbani). In this sense din and iman are one and the same, i.e. the inclination of the mind and heart towards the object believed to be effective in one's destiny. Mere belief, or just to be sure of anything is not iman, but belief in its reality and its effectiveness in one's destiny, beyond the domination of one's own will power, is true iman. No one, not even those who pose as atheists, can be devoid of this subjective aspect of din and iman. The objective aspect or methods of approach bring in the differences. People may differ as to who or what should be held as sacred and how to pray and offer sacrifice, but no one can do without holding something or other as sacred and bowing down before that sacred object, and adopting a method of approach and adoration. The sacred objects and the methods of prayers and sacrifice have gone through an evolutionary process with the development of man's intellect, knowledge, experience, power of reasoning, contemplation, and, above all, on account of the instructions and guidance given by the divinely commissioned teachers.
The necessary consequence of religious tendency, natural in every man, as the result of self-love, is prayer and sacrifice. Sacrifice is an effort to break one's bonds so as to come in contact with the sacred being, the ultimate object of faith, by parting with some of his possessions, which, on account of his faith, are regarded as gifts received from the sacred being. Prayer is a demand put forward to the object of adoration and veneration; and when the demand is met, the bounties received are given to others, in charity, to please the fulfiller. So to take and to give, in religious adoration, go together. Only in how and what is given people are distinguished from each other. Din and iman, in the highest form, is yuminuna bil ghayb, a total and perfect inclination and commitment of the mind and the heart, on the strength of pure reasoning, to the unseen and the inconceivable reality, realised by all as beyond the grasp of human means and intellect. The loftier the object the more intense will be the faith in it. Although there are beings beyond the empirical knowledge like angels and jinn etc., yet they are created beings, definable and within the conceptual capacity of man; despite the fact that they cannot be verified through observation and experiment. Only Allah, beyond all definitions and limitations, is ghayb ul mutlaq, the incomprehensible absolute, the loftiest object of din and iman, the ultimate of iman bil ghayb, and not anything else created by Him. This iman bil ghayb is a dynamic force which takes man towards the absolute in a progressive and unfaltering stride. If any other unseen, except the ghayb ul mutlaq, is held as an object of faith, it will cause stoppage, obstruction and stagnancy, which results in idolatry. In v 52 to 56 of al Anbiya this stagnancy has been condemned.
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq says:
That which your mind, in its finest awareness, may distinctly grasp, would be your creation
like unto you, and that will bounce and come back to you.
The literal meaning of salat is the middle of the backbone. When used as a verb, it means the bending and unbending of the backbone. It is particularly employed when an animal is curved at the time of delivery. Figuratively, it was used for a bending posture at the time of giving or taking something. From this, it was adopted for prayer, to signify a submissive attitude. The Quran has drawn on this word to describe man's praying attitude towards Allah, as well as Allah's turning towards His creatures.
The natural religious tendency of man, as the result of self-love, makes him bend before the absolute, in prayer, to express his wants and needs in order to obtain fulfilment. The bending of the absolute means His turning towards the supplicant to give that which he deserves.
According to v 41 to 43 of al Ahzab, for the creature, prayer is the expression of his quest for the grace of the creator, and for the creator His salat is the bestowal of His grace upon the creature.
Please see  yumununa bil ghayb about spending in the way of the Lord which is the essential property of iman. Spending in the way of Allah, as prescribed by Him pleases Him because it is a source of great benefit to His creatures.
As mentioned earlier, the giving away to others from that which has been provided is not confined to the material possessions, but it includes every thing which comes under the term provision, like knowledge etc.
Akhirat literally means the end, but in the Quran this word has mostly been used in the sense of the hereafter, the life after death. In some places it means the world beyond the visible world.
They know (only) the appearance (the apparent phase) of the life of the world (the lower life), and are heedless (negligent) of the hereafter (its other phase).
(RUM: 7)
The use of the word zahir (apparent), and ghafil (negligent) makes clear that akhirat referred to in the above-noted verse is an antonym of zahir, which is known to most people, yet they are negligent. The word negligence is justified when something is known but paid no attention. The life after death is not the antonym of the apparent, nor it is the neglected known. It is something to come. Therefore, in the above verse, the "other phase" means the world beyond the range of physical experience, which is the world of subjective insight and conscious self. In this connection, it must be noted that even the material world is not known to us through the physical experience of senses because they are affected by the qualities and conditions of the matter, not by the matter itself; and the conscious self is closer to the other world than to the lower world, which is more akin to the senses. For this reason ghafilun, not jahilun has been used. To know the true meaning, it is essential to take into consideration the context in which this word has been applied in the Quran.
Here, in this verse akhirat has been utilised in the sense of hereafter, the life after death, or after
the end, the end of the material world. There is nothing without some end, in the sense of purpose, and the purpose lies beyond the "apparent phase", the world of awareness through the physical experience of the senses.
Yaqin is the state of conviction and certainty acquired through an unshakeable evidence or proof. The description of muttaqin begins with iman bil ghayb, a complete submission of mind and heart to the ghaybul mutlaq and ends with yaqin, an unshakeable firm conviction and certainty that the ultimate purpose of life in this world lies in the life after death in the direction unto the absolute.

Kufr means to cover or to conceal. In the Quran covering the truth, or the fault, has been described as kufr. Covering or concealing the truth is turning the mind from it. Covering the fault is redeeming or redressing, or wiping it out, as per v 31 of al Nisa. It is mostly used in a sense directly opposite to iman.
In the sense of concealment of truth, kufr is a wilful act, (may be) not out of ignorance, but due to ulterior motives or unreasonable bigotry. Therefore the disbelievers (kafirs), devoid of faith, do not follow guidance, whether they are warned or not. In view of v 1 of al Furqan, it would be wrong to say that the Holy Prophet has been advised not to carry on his mission. It points out the obstinacy of the infidels and their expected reaction to the warnings, on account of their trend and tendency to suppress the truth.
When this biased and prejudiced bent of mind, to reject the real and adopt the unreal, becomes a rigid habit, "sealing" of hearts takes place, according to the next verse.

As has been explained on page 24, in the commentary of v 5 of al Fatihah, man's action is in fact a reaction to Allah's action which becomes active in response to the complex of essential qualities of the object which reacts.
Qalb (heart) in the Quran, refers to the functions of the conscious self. It is the centre of total human consciousness, known as "I", like the physical heart which is the centre of the blood circulation system. The mind receives information ; through the experiences of the senses, which are developed into ideas by a mental operation, which also perceives feelings. These feelings are translated into actions, and the actions return back to the mind, undergoing the same process. It resembles the circular movement of the blood into the physical heart. Another justification is the close relation of the feelings with the physical heart, the main organ of the body, which, moved by the feeling, acts. The qalb reacts to the suggestions and guidance received through the experiences of the senses as well as subjective insight, corresponding to the individual peculiarities. Some qalbs are more receptive to goodness, refined thoughts and feelings of a higher spiritual nature. Some qalbs are more inclined towards evil and worldly pleasures. A "one and the same" suggestion may cause different reactions in the two directly opposite qalbs. One qalb receives the divine command and carries it out, while the other rejects it and revolts.
The immediate organ between the heart and the divine preaching is the ear, therefore, it has been connected with the heart, and as the result of the sealing of the heart, the ear has also been sealed. Consequently the disbelievers' vision has been obscured. Now they cannot see the truth. For them is a painful torture in the hereafter.

Those disbelievers, who put on a show of coming into the fold of Islam in order to avail safety and security, to serve their self-interest, and to protect their social position, have been described as the hypocrites (munafiqin).
Although a large number of commentators find it suitable to point to Abdullah bin Obay and his comrades, exclusively, as the hypocrites referred to here and in other places, but the use of the word munafiqin is not restricted to Madani surahs. In v 11 of al Ankabut, revealed in Makka, when Abdullah bin Obay and his active partisans did not appear on the scene, this word was used to identify, in general, one and all, in any age, who may possess this evil.
Among those who accepted Islam and agreed to follow the teachings of the Holy Prophet, some were reluctant converts; some were uncertain about the bonafides of the Holy Prophet as the messenger of Allah; some, under protest and with a heavy heart, followed the mainstream but at heart were pagans; some only put up a front. Such half-hearted, unwilling, or deceptive acceptance of faith is devoid of the higher spiritual conceptions, therefore, sincere and perfect practice of the faith was not possible. And men and women belonging to this category could never fulfil any of the demands of the faith, particularly that which did not serve their interest, because, in their minds, something else, not the faith in Allah and the Holy Prophet, was more likely and feasible. The incident about the cutting down of trees during the siege of Bani Nadhir, referred to in v 5 of al Hashr; the abandonment in time of trouble by running away from the battle of Uhad, referred to in v 153 to 155 of Ali Imran; the expression of doubt about the bonafides of the messenger of Allah, throws light on the conduct of those companions who were weak or indecisive in their belief.
In between the two directly opposite groups, the thoroughly purified muttaqin and the munafiqin whose hearts, ears and eyes have been sealed, there is the type of above-noted group of converts who agreed to give answer to the call of the Holy Prophet to worship one Allah and follow His commandments, but on account of their inability to detach themselves completely from the habits, customs and mental attitude of the "days of ignorance" and infidelity, failed, on many occasions, to meet the demands of pure faith,
because of the infiltration of doubts and suspicions about the genuineness of the prophethood of the
Holy Prophet.
(i) According to Tabari (Vol. 3, page 21, published from Egypt), Shibli (Al Faruq), Ibna Kathir (Badayah Wan Nahayah: Volume 4, page 28, published in 1351 Hijra from Egypt), the second and the third caliphs were among the deserters in the battle of Uhad.
(ii) According to Tarikh Khamis, Vol. 2, page 24, published in 1302 Hijra from Egypt), Sahih Bukhari (Vol. 2; page 82 published in 1355 Hijra from Egypt), Tafsir Durr Manthur (Vol.2; page 77 published in 1314 Hijra from Egypt), and Tafsir Kathir (Vol. 3; page 351 published in 1402 from Beirut), the second caliph Hazrat Umar bin Khattab, as per his own version, had never before suspected so strongly the bonafides of Muhammad the true messenger of Allah, as at the time of the treaty of Hudaybiya.
There are different classes of believers. No doubt the types described above are not hypocrites, but, as pure and perfect faith is a very refined state of mind and heart, they cannot be counted in the highest category of believers. It is very difficult for an individual to know the degree of his own faith (v 9 refers to the self-delusion of such believers), until he comes across a test and trial. The true quality of the faith of the confused companions was laid bare whenever tested, yet such indecisive believers, after the Holy Prophet, were acclaimed as the heroes of Islam.
Many a commentator wrongly refers to Abdullah bin Obay and his associates whenever munafiqin are discussed in the Quran, as a scapegoat substitute for the really dangerous hypocrites whose subversive activities proved more harmful to Islam than Abdullah bin Obay and his comrades. It is an attempt to restrict the general view of the Quran. In fact Abdullah bin Obay's activities never amounted to a real threat. He had no influence even over his own family. He was a very wealthy man, and therefore, wanted to be the chief of Madina, but his chances of success disappeared after the arrival of the Holy Prophet. He was a man of no importance. Had his schemes been really harmful to Islam, the Holy Prophet would not have led his funeral prayers.
The verses in the Quran, about the hypocritical attitude of some of the disciples of the Holy Prophet, are more applicable to the people of Quraysh than any other group. The aim of the Quran is to describe the psychological condition of the companions surrounding the Holy Prophet, in order to classify the reaction of mankind, in general, till eternity, to the final message of Allah, conveyed through the last prophet. The reaction to the divine message divides people in different groups. Those whose commitment is total on account of their complete concord with the prophetic guidance, occupy the highest position nearest to Allah. Those who are not fully convinced, due to lack of wisdom, may not oppose and go astray, but only manage to keep themselves from denying the faith.
Apart from these two groups, there are some who openly oppose Allah and his prophet, with no hope of any improvement in their attitude.
There is another class of people who profess the faith in a hypocritical manner, with a rigid antagonistic attitude of mind and heart. They are those whose heart, hearing and sight have not yet been sealed. There is a hope of improvement if they come out of their wavering. They come under the definition of munafiqin until the improvement takes place. This wavering in most of the disciples of the Holy Prophet was due to their attachment with the old habits, customs and creeds. The force of the new mission tried to detach them from their "days of ignorance" psyche. This conflict between the tendency of the "days of ignorance" and the irresistible energy of truth created the mental conflict which was responsible for their activities both during and after the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. This wavering has been pointed out by the Quran in v 144 and 149 of Ali Imran, and v 25 and 26 of Muhammad. There are many authentic traditions that the Holy Prophet also expressed his concern about this "turning back" of his companions. It must be noted that though the Quran deals with the hypocrites in many surahs in various shades and descriptions, but the Muslim historians, however, do not mention the far reaching influence of the policies and activities carried out by the hypocrites, as rulers, after the departure of the Holy Prophet. On the contrary, a general view is presented that every one of the companions was a true faithful, a bright star, and a symbol of guidance, in total disregard to the indisputable role of the hypocrites during and after the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. They did not die before the Holy Prophet. They emerged with full force after him and exercised full control over the destiny of the ummah.
The Holy Prophet says:
A hypocrite is he who lies, breaks promises, and proves himself dishonest if trusted.
In fact there were very few among the companions who, detached from their old habits, customs and creeds, submitted wholeheartedly to the religion of Allah.
The Holy Quran says:
Very few of My servants are grateful.
In v 8 to 20 reference is made to those hypocrites whose conscience, hearing and sight have been sealed and there is no possibility of their return to the truth.

The new mission, Islam, is like a heavy shower coming down from heaven, a promising event every one welcomes, but the thunder, lightning and darkness, coming along with it, create fright and make people take precaution against the impending threat. In the days of early Islam some people anticipated reaping a good harvest if they joined the ranks of the believers, yet they were reluctant to give up the privileges enjoyed by them under the old system. For example the Quraysh, as custodians of the Kabah, were respected by the people of Arabia. This sanctity gave them the opportunity of monopolising the trade from the Indian Sea to the Mediterranean, and from the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea and Red Sea upto the African coast. By giving up idolatry, they had to renounce class distinction and agree to the equality of human beings, preached by Islam, which would have certainly affected their economic interests. On the other hand, they could not close their eyes to the grand possibility of taking control of the ever progressing active energy of a highly advanced society, created by the lofty ideals of Islam, which would spread like a wild fire all over the world, so as to rule over vast lands and countless people and appropriate the wealth of the nations. The result was a continuous wavering. Neither did they want to detach themselves from the old order, which appeared to them as a frightful darkness, nor could they resist the unlimited produce the abundant rain, Islam, would yield. These wavering hypocrites do not belong to the class of those disbelievers whose hearts, ears and eyes have been sealed.
After classifying the people according to their reactions to the divine message, the Quran addresses mankind as a whole, irrespective of their classes, because the mission of the Holy Prophet is universal; for all times. The aim of the Quran is to stimulate the reaction to the divine message and develop the aptitude for choosing good to the highest degree so that man individually and collectively may take his due place and position in the arc of ascent or the evolutionary upward curve of existence, the full manifestation of which will appear on the final day of resurrection, qiyamat ul kubra.
If some people's vision and insight have been sealed beyond any hope of their ever finding the way to truth, then what is the use of addressing such closed minds? The aim of the Quran is to stimulate reaction, through its message, in all classes, in order to maintain its universality, since as mentioned earlier none would remain without some reaction. Some make a willing choice of the right path, and some go in the opposite direction. In this connection refer to v 80 and 81 of al Naml.
Obedience is to react to the order of authority in complete agreement and unity of feeling. In this sense the Quran directs man to surrender to no one save to the universal will of the absolute Lord of grace and love. Only complete resignation to His will saves man from the miseries of the worldly life. It does not mean mystic inactivity. It is an active reaction.
The structure of man's individual characteristics is the combination of physical and spiritual influences. The spiritual aspect is heavenly and the physical aspect is worldly - the up and down or the heaven and the earth. In relation to human vision, the spiritual aspects take man towards the absolute and the physical aspects divert him away from it. The ultimate aim of the Quran is to convince man that all his needs and expectations receive fulfilment if he directs his attention towards the heavenly direction, instead of diverting his attention to the material world. The spiritual journey terminates in the absolute up, the infinite, the equal of whom is inconceivable. So, devoted to Him, man must translate His will into practical life, particularly when the just idea of "an equal to Him is inconceivable" appeals to him.

Since the beginning of Islam till today, the enemies of Islam have been trying to belittle Islam but they never dared to answer the challenge, in spite of repeated attempts made by the most celebrated scholars and men of letters, jointly and severally.
In what respect is the Quran an unchallengable miracle? How is it the proof of its own truthfulness? Several views have been put forward by both Muslim and non-Muslim scholars.
(1) Eloquence and rhetorical excellence.
(2) Prophecies.
(3) Precepts and laws.
(4) Effect of its forceful and fascinating tone on the human mind and heart.
No attempt has been made to look into the book itself to know why and in what sense it is a miracle. The book is the book of guidance. The duty of the messenger of Allah was to convey and preach guidance to mankind. The speaker or author arranges his words and sentences to make his ideas meaningful to the audience or the readers. In search of the best way to communicate the ideas, the science of grammar and the art of rhetoric had been developed. The use of language and style has to be adopted in relation to the class of people who are addressed. A message or guidance of universal nature, dealing with all aspects of human life in its manifold dimensions (individual and social, economic and political, physical and spiritual) not for any particular person or class but for every human being, community and nation, educated and uneducated, till eternity, must be the work of a person who knows, inside out, human nature in general as well as the capacity to understand and the tendencies of different individuals and communities of different classes and races. In addition, the relation of each individual to the other, the relation of mankind as a whole to other beings and surrounding nature, the beginning and the end of human life, the first and the final cause of creation of which man is a part, have to be taken into consideration. The style and substance of such a message should not only appeal to the "welfare-oriented" interests of the people but also should be able to refine human feelings and emotions. Such a power of expression is beyond the limit of human ability. Therefore it is true to say that the Quran is a miracle in view of its style and substance.

The threat of making the disbelievers and hypocrites the fuel of the fire (hell) is real. The faith in Allah as the creator and the law-giver, and the belief in the hereafter wherein every individual will be rewarded in proportion to his obedience, or will be punished because of his disobedience to the divine law, are the two essential principles of Islam. It is downright dishonesty to interpret the fire as the miseries, torments, discomforts and calamities of the life in this world. This attribution of giving fanciful meanings, unsupported by the Quran or the sayings of the Holy Prophet, betrays the materialistic bias of such interpreters who do not agree that there is a real existence beyond this world.
The view expressed by the Ahmadi school in connection with v 23 and 24, are in fact .the reproduction of the ideas put forward by Mirza Abul Fazl Gulpaygani, the leader of Baha-i movement. There are many doctrines of the Ahmadi school which have been borrowed from the Baha-i school.
The expression that the heavenly fruits, which the believers will enjoy, are similar, in taste, to that which they were familiar with, shows the continuity of the human consciousness and memory of the experiences in the life of this world; otherwise there is no sense in the concept of reward or punishment. The emphasis on the continuance of consciousness by Islam is to make man guard against evil. The theory of Karma (transmigration), advanced by the Vedantic school, states that man loses the consciousness and memory of the experiences of his previous life as soon as he dies and takes another form of life. This theory is of no use to man as it does not stimulate him to do good or avoid evildoing.
In giving the description of the life of the hereafter, the Quran refers to the pain and pleasure experienced by the senses, because there is no other way to make man form an idea about the pains and pleasures, as a punishment or a reward, awaiting him in his other life, which he earns through bad or good conduct in this life. In the absence of the developed senses, to have an idea of the actual pains and the pleasures of the life of the hereafter, a figurative form has to be used to reach man in general, an example of which is v 15 of Muhammad. The intellectual significance of the parables presented to man cannot be grasped by the common people save those endowed with wisdom. The Quran says that the life of the hereafter is the developed continuation of the life of the world. Not losing the essential elements, this life takes to a highly refined form in the next life, more real, effective and purposeful. Every object of our senses has a corresponding existence in the heaven. The social life of the hereafter, with positive and negative forces, is another fact which Quran makes known to us.
Through metaphorical expressions, in the form of parables, the Quran stimulates the human mind and heart. A healthy mind grasps the truth, whereas a perverted mind adds more threads to its web of doubts. The one and same expression produces two opposite effects. The right response is the acceptance of the guidance, the reaction of the muttaqin, and the wrong response is the "going astray", the reaction of the fasiqin.
The wrongdoers (fasiqin), mentioned in the previous verse, break the covenant of Allah (yanquduna ahadallah), and cut asunder that which Allah has commanded to join (yaqtuna ma amarallah), and make mischief to destroy peace and harmony in human society.
The human ego, which was not as it is now - a conscious self - is addressed here. The previous state is termed as "being dead". "Giving life" is the present conscious state. The departure of the conscious self from the body is death. The state after this departure is revivification. It is a continuous evolutionary transformation of a conscious self upto the communion with the infinite, not in the sense of annihilation, nor the absorption of the finite into the infinite, but in the sense of the realisation of the fact that nothing is real save Allah.
After departing from one life to live another life, the pain or pleasure in the succeeding life is the result of the mode of life adopted in the preceding life. Therefore the return is for the final retribution.
The Holy Prophet said:
You shall not be annihilated, because you have been created to last till eternity. You only go from this life of actions (good or bad) to the life of happiness or misery.
According to this verse and v 9 to 12 of Ha Mim and v 27 to 32 of Nazi-at the development of the earth and its resources had taken place before the arrangement and organisation of the heavens. v 30 to 33 of Anbiya say that the heavens and the earth were an integrated mass, but had been separated by splitting. The creation of the heavens and the earth was simultaneous, but the development of earth took place before the grouping of the heavens. v 30 describes another development after the arrival of Adam.
The word liqa (meeting or encounter) has been used in the Quran many times. It is wrong to interpret it as seeing. The theory of the possibility of seeing Allah (ruyat) in this world or in the hereafter assumes the personification of God, which is a fanciful conjecture against the fundamental article of the faith (the absolute unity), therefore, has been rejected by the Holy Quran: "vision perceives Him not" (An-am: 103), and the Holy Prophet and the holy Imams.
Ali ibna abi Talib says:
I do not worship the God whom I cannot see, not through sight, (but) through insight.
"You", the addressee, in this verse, are not only those who were present and were guilty of ingratitude but also their forefathers and ancestors. This is applicable to all humanity. It is a reminder to call to mind Allah's favours and bounties bestowed on mankind.
The word yawm, in this verse, refers to the life of the hereafter which includes the term of life beginning with the departure of the soul till the final resurrection. In some verses of the Quran it is said that every human being will undergo a trial on the day of final resurrection as an individual, whereas some other verses suggest groups of people, along with their leaders, will come before the Lord. According to some verses the wicked will be condemned without being permitted to put forward their lame excuses, whereas other state that some of the wicked will accuse their leaders for misleading them. There is no contradiction. In fact there are several varying stages in the intermediary period as well as in the final phase. The examination of every soul according to its individual deeds may differ from the accountability of its social behaviour. A man may be condemned as an individual but on account of his attachment to the divinely chosen wasilah (support and influence), he may be redeemed. The Quran, in many places, asserts the effectiveness of intercession, therefore, the negation here either refers to a particular condition or to the fact that no intercession offered by a soul on its own behalf shall be accepted. Only those who have been authorised by Allah shall have the right to intercede.
The wavering between belief and disbelief by the Bani Israil is also visible among the followers of other prophets. All the messengers of Allah patiently put up with this kind of attitude in order to check desertion in the early stages of the propagation of the faith. Drift from the truth and reversion to falsehood was discouraged, and the doors of repentance were kept open, but only a few took advantage of the leniency.
Those who refuse to believe in the unseen (Baqarah: 3) inevitably go for idolatry. This tendency of demanding impractical divine manifestations was also evident in the opponents of the Holy Prophet (Nisa: 153)
The people asked Musa to show them the proof of his prophethood by requesting Allah to appear in person. In their foolishness they did not know that corporeality is for the creatures, not for the uncreated creator, therefore, their demand was met by another proof - the raising after death.

Sabbath day was reserved exclusively for prayers. To do anything else was forbidden. The people invented crafty methods through which the fish got trapped. In this way they resorted to fishing which was also forbidden on the Sabbath days. In view of their persistent violations in spite of the repeated warnings given by the prophets., they were transformed into apes. After three days all of them died. A powerful wind swept their corpses into the sea. This incident took place in the town of Elah, on the coast of the Red Sea, during the time of prophet Dawud.
This transformation has again been stated in v 166 of al Araf.
Misinterpreting the Quran, by inappropriately comparing the wording of one passage to the other passages without any grammatical reasoning or the identity of the meaning, is an attempt to confuse the purport of one with the other, which the Holy Prophet has strongly prohibited, and declared that it is as bad as infidelity.
The following wonderful events, which became operative as supernatural phenomena, are narrated in the Quran as the miracles given to Musa to furnish the proof of his prophethood.:
The rod of Musa transformed into a serpent.
The brilliance of the palm of Musa.
The splitting of the sea.
The gushing of water from the rock.
The coming of manna and salwa from the heavens.
The shadowing of the cloud over the Bani Israil.
The raising of the dead.
The suspension of the mountain over the people.
The transformation of the transgressors into apes.
Denial of the divine signs, which appeared due to the ability of the supernatural energy to make adjustments in nature leads to the rejection of the true religion of Allah preached by the last messenger of Allah, as is evident in the case of the Ahmadi movement - a hypocritical and dishonest camouflage and a gross disloyalty to the true faith. The Ahmadi commentator adds "as" before the word apes, in order to deny the divine sign.

The word ummi generally means one who can neither write nor read. Here it is used for those Jews who could neither read nor write. In many places the Quran addresses the Arabs as ummies. With reference to the use of ummi for the Holy Prophet, commentators say that it is either because the Holy Prophet could neither write nor read, or because he was one of the Arabs, or because he was the inhabitant of the city of Makka known as the Ummul-Qura.
Ummi can also be derived from the word umm-the mother. Ummi means the person who remains the same in his native endowments as was born, without receiving any education or training from any (outside) source. The Holy Prophet did not receive knowledge or education from any mortal but by Allah Himself. He was born with divinely endowed .wisdom and remained the same, without letting any worldly agency influence his self, tutored and perfected by Allah Himself.
Allah has revealed to you the book and the wisdom and taught you what you did not know. Great has been the grace of Allah on you.
(NISA: 113)
Please refer to v 12 of Ya Sin, v 1 to 4 of al Rahman and v 4 and 5 of al Najm.
It is He who raised among the ummies a messenger from amongst them, who recites His signs to them, reforms them and teaches them the book and the wisdom (JUMU-AH: 2), so it is absurd to believe that Allah had sent an illiterate to teach the book and the wisdom to the illiterates.
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq has said that the conscience of every human being tells him not to follow blindly any one who pretends to be a guide without having the necessary merits, therefore, he cannot wholly blame others for being ignorant of the divine guidance because of the trickery of the false guides he chooses to follow.

Earning (obtaining a return) is quite different from falling into evil. Those who earn the wages of sin are enclosed in sin. One sin leads to another sin. It is a vicious and unending cycle. Willing yielding to evil for self advancement, erects a fortress of wickedness brick by brick; and access to good becomes impossible. They are enclosed in error. Sinning becomes their nature, as the conscience is paralysed. Total abandonment to evil obtains eternal punishment. They are the people of hell. Man finds himself in such a hopeless situation only when he breaks the covenant made with the Lord and disconnects all links of attachment with the divinely commissioned guides (Baqarah: 38). Even a little liking for the goodness of the holy Imams may change the lifestyle of a habitual sinner.

Although the Jews acknowledged and witnessed the divine command not to shed blood of their people, nor drive them away out of their habitations, yet they transgressed. This Jewish attitude was conspicuously noticeable in the nature of the Muslim ummah, when they killed, tormented and abused the holy family of the Holy Prophet in Kerbala and after Kerbala.
Imam Ali bin Husayn al Zaynul Abidin had said:
In view of the clear instructions of the Holy Prophet and the decisive injunctions of the Quran it is obligatory to love, revere and follow the Ahlalbayt, but, even if the prophet had commanded the ummah to hate and abuse his children, they could not have been able to do worse than what they did to us.
They persecuted the Ahlalbayt in whichever town they took shelter, forced them to drift from place to place, and at last surrounded them from all sides in the desert of Kerbala, and then murdered in cold blood, all the male friends, relatives and companions of Imam Husayn, the grandson of the Holy Prophet They spared no one, not even the six month infant son of the Holy Imam. The persecutors, in devilish frenzy, trampled the bodies of the devoted martyrs under the hooves of their horses, plundered, looted and set the tents of the Ahlalbayt on fire. It was a premeditated, ruthless and satanic dance of death. The ladies and children of the holy house in chains, along with the severed heads of the martyrs, walked through the streets of Kufa and Damascus (to the court of Yazid). The tragedy of Kerbala casts a gloom upon every refined, compassionate and God-fearing soul. It makes hearts bleed, and tears flow. Cries of lamentation reach the heavens.
In the court of Yazid, Bibi Zaynab binta Ali stood up and said in a clear, definite and strong voice:
O Yazid! What would the Holy Prophet say if he sees us in this condition today? Think you O Yazid, that by killing our men and capturing us and reducing us to this state, you have won and we have lost? Then verily you are mistaken. Our cause has been established by Allah and no power on earth can ever do it any harm. The temporal power which you assume is to be counted but only for a very few days and then you shall feel sorry for your tyranny but it shall be in vain. The divine kingdom is with us and shall remain with us for ever. All that you possess is nothing but a passing show and there is nothing divine in it. Verily, Satan holds power on the earth more than all the tyrants together but in the eyes of Allah he is the cursed and the derided one. It appears that sins have encompassed your heart and severed all the links of faith and made you bold to utter the proud words against the truth. "Have they not travelled on the earth and seen how the others before them had met their end? They were far more powerful than them, dug up the earth and built far more than what did they build; and their messengers came to them with clear proofs. It was not for Allah to wrong them, they wronged themselves. Then evil was the end of those who did evil, for they belied the signs of Allah and made fun of them."

Whenever the message of truth is not conducive to the selfish interests of the people the (animal) nafs rejects it, and the rejection manifests itself in rebellion against the divine covenant and against those who are divinely chosen to guide to the right path.
"Desire death, if you are truthful" is an open challenge. Whoso thinks that the blissful life of the hereafter is exclusively his must always be ready to die. He who is sure of a better life in the hereafter, as the favour of Allah, would not like to prolong his earthly life but would expedite his departure from here. According to Imam Ali, a genuine devotee, the lover or the favourite of Allah, would not let his soul stay in his body for fraction of a moment if his term of life has not been ordained by Allah, because he knows what awaits him in the life of the hereafter. Therefore he is never afraid of death.
Imam Ali said:
"Verily, by Allah I declare that the son of Abu Talib is more familiar with death than a baby is with the breast of his mother."
Therefore, neither the greed for power nor the fear of death, as the opponents of Ali used to think, was the reason for his outspoken analysis of the behaviour of his contemporaries, or his silence in the midst of ruthless deviators and hypocrites.

Angels and angelic functions have been explained in the commentary of the earlier verses of this surah. Now the functions of the four arch-angels are given below:
He communicated the will of Allah to His messengers. He also destroyed the enemies of Allah and His messengers.
He supplies nourishment and provisions.
He gives forms and shapes. He also assimilates nature.
He disengages living beings from one state of existence to initiate into another state of existence .
These are, in fact the functions of the rububiyat, the cherishing aspect of Allah's grace. There are many angels working under the arch-angels. The various angelic functions are closely linked together. One cannot function without the other. The single exclusive authority of Allah controls these functions according to His supreme will. So, there is no room for the angels to act in contravention to the command of Allah. Only ignorant fools indulge in the theory of possible disobedience by the angels. In v 6 of al Tahrim, the almighty Allah says that the angels do not disobey Him in that which He commands them; they do that which they are commanded to do.
When various agencies represent one and the same authority, hostility directed towards any will include all and finally lead to the original source, as has been correctly pointed out in v 152 to 154 of al Nisa.

According to the first book of Kings 11: 1 to 11, in the Old Testament, Sulayman defected from true worship and the Lord was angry with him because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel. This verse refutes the Jewish allegation. The following inferences can be drawn from this verse:
(1) Sorcery is not altogether ineffective.
(2) Sorcery can do no harm if Allah so wills.
(3) To learn witchcraft or sorcery is not profitable, but harmful.
(4) Those who go after the art of sorcery and witchcraft will have no share of good in the hereafter, because it is as bad as mischief-making. To dispel the effects of witchcraft and sorcery people are allowed to learn the art of defending themselves.

An interesting conversation between the second caliph and Ibna Abbas, recorded by Tabari and other historians, is quoted below, which throws light on the influence of the Jewish mentality on the behaviour and mental attitude of the non-Hashimite Muslims.
The second caliph said:
"O son of Abbas! Do you know why your family has been deprived of Khilafat? The Quraysh did not like that prophethood (nubuwwat) and vicegerency (khilafat) be combined in the family of Hashim, lest their vanity increases. So they chose some one else, really their choice was good."
Ibna Abbas said:
"There is nothing unusual so far as the hatred of the Quraysh for the family of Hashim is concerned, because right from the beginning they did not like the message, nor the messenger. 'That is because they were averse to what Allah has sent down, so He shall render their deeds null and void (Muhammad: 9)'. And the apprehension about the vanity of the people who have been (thoroughly) purified, by Allah himself, from every type of uncleanness is an (unfounded) accusation. It would have been most appropriate if the Quraysh had chosen he whom Allah had chosen, and .."
At this stage the caliph interrupted and said:
"Behold! O son of Abbas! I have already been informed about your utterances. Beware! You may fall in my estimation."
Ibna Abbas said:
"Yes. If my opinions are true, they should not cause my downfall, and if they be untrue, you should remind me to put them in order."
The caliph got angry and left the place.
This incident, sharply defines the most vital issue which divided the Muslims into various schools of thought .

Naskh, as a Quranic term, means substitution of one current law by another. It is called bada if the substitution is in the law of creation, and naskh if it is in the law of legislation.
Substitution has been effected in "creation" as well as in "legislation". The sudden changes in the course of creation, caused by the supreme will of Allah, a factor apparently incomprehensible for the human intellect, are known as miracles - like the birth of Adam and Isa, and the extraordinary performances carried out by the prophets and divinely chosen representatives of Allah. These miracles cannot be taken as effects without any cause, but are caused by a factor inconceivable by the human intellect. The effect of the creature's prayer in the course of providence is also based on the phenomenon of bada. These types of activities on the part of the creatures are a reaction to the divine action. They are governed by the possibility of bada, provided there is no contradiction. For example the "creation of a self-existing being" is a self-contradictory idea. Allah alone is the self-existing creator, and what He creates cannot be self-existing. The term "creation" itself suggests that it is not self-existing but was created whereas the term "self-existing" means that it was not created by anyone. Another example is of an "even number". It is impossible to stop it from being divided into two equal whole numbers. In view of the infinite power, possibilities and potentialities at the command of Allah it has been believed and accepted that every known operation in the creation can be changed, substituted or abrogated by His supreme will or action. The human knowledge may not comprehend the use of that which has happened and that which will happen, in the sphere of bada. It must be kept in mind that there can be no limitation to the power and ability of Allah. Imam Ali ibna Abi Talib says: "Allah has effected changes (bada) and will also effect many changes in the operation (system) of the universe."
Change {Naskh) in the "legislation" became necessary due to the gradual development of the human society. Though the spirit might have been the same but the laws and teachings for mankind in a developed society had to be other than what they were in the primitive age. The conditions and circumstances of a particular age do not appear again. There are teachings, applicable in every age, but they, keeping the essential spirit intact, take to new forms till they reach the final stage. From Adam to Muhammad, the divinely appointed teachers took into consideration the receptive capacity of the people. For example prophet Isa, knowing the limitations of his people, put off the delivery of the final message and asked them to wait for the promised prophet.
There is still much that I could say to you, but the burden would be too great for you now. However, when he comes who is the spirit of truth, he will guide you into all the truth: for he will not speak on his own authority, but will tell only what he hears; and he will make known to you the things that are coming.
(John 16: 19 and 13)
The divine order "to do" or "not to do" a thing is based upon reason - alms should be given for helping the poor; or liquor is prohibited in order to avoid its ill-effects. The justifying reason is in the thing ordered to be done or not to be done.
Sometimes the justifying reason is in the order itself. This is true of the orders issued merely as a test of the obedience of the believers. For example, the change in the direction of Qiblah was made (Baqarah: 149) to test the obedience of the believers; or when prophet Ibrahim was asked to sacrifice his son
In the first category naskh takes place only when the substitution is necessary in view of the new development. In the second category change is made, without making less its scope and intensity, so that it may fully serve the purpose of the trial. Through naskh as well as bada the withdrawal of the previous procedure or legislation is made known. If the time-limit has already been prescribed for any law or procedure then the term naskh or bada cannot be used. Every aspect of the creation or the legislation, together with their possible manifestations, are known to the creator. Naskh or bada (substitution) cannot be attributed to Allah's ignorance or change of mind. These terms are used in relation to the creatures' knowledge of the divine will. Some orders or processes carry the restriction of the period of validity at the time of their revelation in which case the term bada or naskh cannot be applied. Sometimes it manifests afterwards. In both cases of naskh and bada, the change or substitution means notification of the discontinuation of the procedure or legislation which was in force. In connection with the events of creation or the procedures of legislation the prophets of Allah, now and then, received definite revelations about the taking place of an event, with its details, without any possibility of any change; and at times the nature of the predictions of the consequences of an act was indefinite, which, subject to conditions, could be changed. When the development reaches the ultimate stage, as v 115 of al An-am says, there is no changing in His words. In the gradual revelation of the laws to the Holy Prophet, no abrogation of any portion of the Quran has been effected. It is generally believed that some Quranic laws, had been abrogated by its own verses, or by the sayings of the Holy Prophet; a list of which has been prepared by the jurists and the commentators, but the context of the traditions, in view of the external evidence, has been, with ulterior motives, twisted and misapplied. A careful study of the Quran with a thorough knowledge of the conclusively proved laws of the faith, passed on to us by the Holy Ahlalbayt, the divinely chosen purified custodians of the word of Allah, makes clear the view and proves that there are very few, not exceeding five, abrogations; and even those cannot be described as real or actual naskh. For example the order to pay alms in v 12 of al Mujadalah was given to test the sincerity of the persons who wanted to meet and talk to the Holy Prophet privately, because most of the companions, without any reason at all, sought his audience for the sake of personal vanity. After this order none paid the prescribed alms save Ali. The purpose of the test was to make public the insincerity of the companions, therefore, it was removed when their deception was proved. This order was totally withdrawn, after condemning the niggardly attitude of the companions, in v 13 of al Mujadalah. This order resembles the order given to prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son. When it was proved beyond doubt that Ibrahim was certainly carrying out the divine command, the order was withheld (Saffat: 103 to 107). In the same manner when only Ali carried out the order of v 12 of al Mujadalah, it was proved that he alone, and no one else among the companions, was in the category of prophet Ibrahim, therefore, the order was withdrawn.
As the Holy Prophet said, theoretically his sayings could change or substitute (naskh) the Quranic laws. Such change or abrogation can be accepted if reported on the authority of the thoroughly purified Ahlalbayt, because traditions reported through other sources are conflicting and spurious.
Wajh means face - the manifesting aspect (side) of a thing. Imam Ali ibna Abi Talib says:
Beyond this moon are many moons, beyond the sun are many suns".
(Bihar ul Anwar).
The east and the west mentioned here should not be confined to the directions we know in relation to the rising and setting of the sun. It also refers to the whole cosmos where there are several moons and suns, therefore, the hold of the omnipotence of Allah, the absolute, controls and directs (manifest) in all the easts and the wests of the universe. He is the all-pervading omniscient who is in everything and everything is in Him. His manifestation (wajh) serves the purpose of man. In whichever direction the mind turns there is His manifestation. (Araf: 137, Shu-ara: 28, Saffat: 5, Zukhruf: 38, Rahman: 17). The interpretation of wajh, as Allah's purpose, by the Ahmadi commentator, is a linguistic misappropriation to effect a motivated confusion.
The verb sharaqa means to beam or radiate with light. It may be physical or spiritual (Zumar: 69). The place or the direction from which the light beams is mashriq (the east), and the place or direction in which the light disappears is maghrib (the west). The terms mashriq and maghrib should be taken in a wider and more comprehensive sense to include all the lights, physical and spiritual, coming from the absolute to enlighten the various spheres of existence in the universe. In this sense Allah is the wasi-un alim.
The first creation in which the unity of the absolute is manifested is known as mashriqul wujud, and the matter in which the unity disappears and gives its place to multiplicity is known as maghribul wujud. On the other hand, as regards to the multiplicity of manifestation the matter can be taken as the mashriq of the multiplicity and the absolute as its maghrib wherein the multiplicity disappears. These are some examples of the various usages of the terms mashriq and maghrib in their singular, plural and dual forms. The particular incident of the revelation of this verse relating to the direction of qiblah (noted below) does not affect the universality which this verse signifies.

To refute the Christian theory of "the son of God", here and in many other verses of the Quran, the word badi has been used.
The four principles of the causative factors responsible for the existence of the finite beings are material cause, formal cause, initial cause and final cause. Anything made, owes its existence to the material out of which it is made, and the particular shape or form it has been given. These are the structural causes. The agency through which a thing is made is called the agential cause:
(1) The person who brings the material into shape is called the agential cause.
(2) The motive or the purpose which moves the agent is the final cause.
Creation (badi ) means bringing a thing into being out of nothing through the agency of the will of the agential cause without the slightest change in the essence or the attributes of the agent.
According to the Quran this is the relation of the absolute creator to all finite created beings, therefore, only the creator is eternal and none else is co-existing with Him, and there is no one as a part of Him.]

As has already been pointed out in the commentary of v 115 of this surah, specific direction does not mean that manifestation of Allah is restricted to that direction only. He is manifest in all directions. The order to turn to a particular direction, while praying, was a test of obedience for the followers of the faith as mentioned in v 143 of this surah, and also to create unity of purpose in the minds of the praying believers.
Every one has a direction in life, the ultimate object of which is Allah. As mentioned in v 177 of this surah performing good deeds in the overall interest of the society (to possess the theoretical and functional virtues, the root of which is faith in Allah - Tawhid) minimises the importance of the turning towards the east or the west as a virtue.
Huwa (He) is generally translated to mean "everyone" (kul), but the Shia grammarians assert that it refers to Allah.
Muwalliha is also recited as muwallaha. Muwallaha, past participle, means He is the ultimate object of the direction of every one 's mind. Muwalliha, present participle, means He is directing everyone towards a particular direction, as has been said in v 48 of al Ma-idah. The purpose of various precepts and methods of worship is to test competitive striving for owning virtues. Notwithstanding the different directions of striving, every man will reach the same destination. The absolute is all pervasive. The Holy Prophet said: "Do not abuse nature which some people take as the first cause of the whole phenomenon. Nature itself is God". But a person who perceives or identifies Him in the manifestations of nature can not be equal to the man who reaches the highest stage of monotheistic belief. Therefore, it is not proper to say that all religions are true because their aim is one and the same. The difference in realisation of the truth distinguishes which one is the best direction. The Quran refers to the different directions and makes clear the best direction.

The soul of every conscious being will taste death (Ali Imran: 185), therefore, this verse does not refer to the departure of the soul from the body. It refers to a particular state of blissful life which the souls of the non-Muslims are deprived of.
The term "life" and "death" has also been used in the Quran to signify "knowledge" and "ignorance" (Ya Sin: 70), or "belief" and "disbelief" (An-am: 123) respectively.
The life the soul lives after its departure from the body can be termed as death if it is more painful and miserable than the life of this world when it was in the body, because it has been deprived of the bliss it enjoyed here. And if the life of the hereafter is more blissful than here, the life of this world should be described as death.
The Holy Prophet has rightly observed:
This world is a prison for the believer and a paradise for the disbeliever.
A poor Jew once asked Imam Hasan to tell him how could his poverty be a paradise and Imam's plenty be a prison?
The Imam replied:
"If you would know the miseries awaiting the disbelievers, and the blessings in store for the believers in the life of hereafter, you will then agree that even your present plight is a paradise compared to those miseries, and my affluence here is a prison for me as compared to the blessings that will be bestowed on me there."
Life and death should be understood in the sense of gain and loss in the various stages man passes through, as described by the Quran in v 154 of this surah. In v 169 of Ali Imran it is advised not to think that those who are slain in the way of Allah are dead, because they are alive, getting sustenance from their Lord. It means that they are in direct communion with their cherisher and sustainer. The term shahid, in the Quran, refers to this state of existence.
This is the attitude of a faithful when a misfortune befalls him or he suffers a loss. It is the summary of all that which Islam teaches. We are His. We unconditionally submit to His will. We shall return to Him. He is our destination. Whoso makes his life a true expression of this description becomes His prime favourite for His grace, blessings and guidance. The Holy Prophet who stands first and foremost in submission to Allah is the ideal model of this expression which has further been elaborated in v 163 of Ali-Imran.

The word wahid (one) is not used in any numerical sense, nor in the sense of order (the first of any second), nor in the sense of the oneness of a genus or a specie, nor in any other general term, but it is used in the sense that He is indivisible, unanalysable organically, chemically, geometrically, logically, mentally or physically, or in any sense whatsoever. This unity, in essence, does not correspond to any limitation. Since He is unlimited, a second, an equal, or an opposite to Him is not conceivable.
Ibna Babwah writes in the book of Tawhid:
In the battle of Jamal a Bedouin asked Ali:
"Do you say that God is One?"
Some companions did not like the idea of asking such a question at a time when Ali was fighting a war, and they rebuked him.
But Ali ibna abi Talib said:
"Do not disapprove his question, because what he asks is the very object of this battle. We are demanding the true answer to this question (same faith in the unity of Allah) from our enemy." Then Ali gave the above-noted description of Tawhid.

The harmony in the working of the universe is referred to in the Quran as a sign of the unity of the maker. Man is asked to reflect over this creation and realise the divine unity in the midst of diversity and amongst the various forces of nature that work in perfect harmony. (See quotation from Nahj al Balagha on page 20).
As has been pointed out by Imam Musa bin Jafar al Kazim to his disciple, Hisham bin Hakam: Verily Allah perfected His arguments with reasoning, assisted His messengers with miracles, and proved His rububiyat with His signs.
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq has explained the part reasoning plays in determining the relationship between man and God and its limitations. Reasoning (the internal) and the prophet (the external) are the two proofs Allah puts forward to let the people, who understand, have unshakeable faith in Allah. There is no use of the external proof (the prophet) if the heart and mind are not convinced through the internal proof (the reasoning). There may be religious doctrines beyond the grasp of limited human intellect but there should be no religious assertion contradictory to rational thinking. This shows that the only medium for understanding the absolute and securing nearness to Allah is sound logical reasoning. After reaching the final stage of the realisation of His existence and unity, the medium between him and the absolute becomes the divine revelation.

This verse makes clear that every individual, in the next life, will be conscious of his deeds in this life. The continuity of the human memory and consciousness, after death, indicated in this verse, dismisses the idea of transmigration of soul.

The divine mercy is such that when it is absolutely necessary for survival, or in circumstances beyond one's control, there is no blame if one transgresses temporarily. Allah's mercy will overcome the evil of the transgression. The spirit of the divine law must be observed in normal as well as extraordinary conditions. Under no circumstances any revolt against any divine law is allowed.
Ma-ruf means anything known, recognised, approved, and according to customary usage. Its opposite is munkar - rejected, disapproved and contrary to common sense and religious laws.
In matters pertaining to the relatives, charity and maintenance of widows or divorced wives, ma-ruf means moderation in the light of common sense. In the case of amr bil ma-ruf it means obligatory duties prescribed by Islam. In Nahya anil munkar, munkar means forbidden prohibitions.

Although the Sunni school thinks that this verse has been abrogated by v 11 of al Nisa, but its proper study makes it clear that the distribution of wealth among the heirs is to be effected after taking the will (bequest) of the deceased into consideration. The Holy Prophet and Imam Ali had clearly, in many instances, advised those, who sought their guidance, to bequeath or not to bequeath according to the merits and circumstances of the seekers of guidance. Here the word kutiba means "laid down". It can be compulsory or optional according to the merits and circumstances of the case.

Yutiquna means the ability to do something with great difficulty. The old and the sick come in this category. It is unreasonable to say that "so whoever witness this month (Ramadan) shall fast in it" (see next verse) cancels this passage. According to the holy Ahlalbayt this passage has not been abrogated. Tawaqa means ability with hardship, and tawa-a means ability with ease. This subtle difference was pointed out by Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq. This passage applies to those who are able to fast but due to some weakness it is very difficult for them to do so.

The act of invocation has been recommended by Allah Himself, because it helps to make the efforts of man fruitful. This passage dismisses the fatalist view that man's destiny is predetermined, regardless of his actions; this verse not only recommends prayer but also promises a response, showing that prayer which is a human action, has its effect on determining the destiny. The prayer to which response is promised should be a sincere cry from the depth of the heart. If there is predestination as the fatalists say, then this verse and v 5 of Al Fatihah become meaningless. Please see  al Fatihah: 5.

Swallowing up other people's rights and usurping unjustly the possessions of others have been declared unlawful (also see Nisa: 29).
In Islam religious duties and other prescribed actions like fasts, festivals and pilgrimage, are carried out according to the lunar calculation. The reasons are given below:
(1) Even an illiterate person can determine the day of the month and the month of the year according to the different shapes and forms of the moon, which cannot be calculated from the sun.
(2) Man can experience the joy and satisfaction of fulfilment in every type of season, which is not possible if solar calendar is followed.
(3) Acts of worship do not become seasonal rituals.
(4) The lunar year is shorter than the solar year. So the devotee gets more opportunities, in his lifetime, to turn to Allah, and obtain more benefits.
The inclination of some to adopt the solar calendar, with reference to acts of worship, under the influence of Christian propaganda, should be discouraged, because it was Paul, who, in order to please the pagan Romans, introduced the solar calendar.

In spite of all that has been said that Islam prefers peaceful methods of preaching the truth, and that it never took any initiative in waging wars against its opponents, the fact is that Islam recognises the right of taking the initiative in using force against those who persist in ungodly activities causing human degradation or social and moral deterioration. But this measure can only be adopted by the prophet of Allah or his vicegerents, authorised by Him, and none else. As Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir says: "A war may be termed as holy or godly (jihad) if the object is to make people give up submission to the ghayrallah and to submit only to Allah's authority and the divine will. But if the purpose is to make them give up submission to one creature in order to submit to any other, it is the usual war waged for selfish and worldly gain. Hence it is unholy and thus condemned by Islam." Taking this definition in view, it is obvious that no war is holy unless it is sanctioned and allowed by the person who is perfectly pure from every kind of ungodliness and is constantly in communion with the universal will of the absolute.
However, Islam enjoins on Muslims to be always ready, well prepared and well equipped to meet all exigencies, or an eventuality which may unexpectedly develop against them, then they should gather as much strength as they can, so that their opponents, the opponents of the divine cause, may refrain from any unprovoked aggression. (Anfal: 60).

Fitna means subversive activities to destroy peace and rule of law. With reference to other verses like this verse (Nisa: 135; Ma-idah: 2 and 8) it must be said that Islam advocates universal peace and harmony in the human society and teaches us to tolerate and accommodate other creeds so far as their followers do not hatch plots and generate ill-will to destroy the Muslims and ascribe falsehood to Allah and His religion. In v 1, 8 and 9 of al Mumtahanah, the believers are advised to show kindness and do justice to the unbelievers who are not hostile to them, but at all events, friendship with the enemies of Allah has been discouraged. Islam avoids killing and destruction, but when public peace and safety is at stake, prompt and severe action is taken to bring order and eliminate lawlessness. Islam has no room for wilful aggressors and cunning mischief-makers. The sanctity of the holy Kabah and the sacred months is very important, but when attacked all considerations should be kept in abeyance till the aggressors are destroyed completely. Keeping this principle in view, the Holy Prophet fought against the infidels of Makka and their (Jewish) associates, in self defence, because they wanted to exterminate the religion of Allah and its followers. When the Syrian vassals of the Roman empire advised Hercules to help and support the Makkan pagans and liquidate the Muslims, the Holy Prophet had to go to war against the Christians. No peaceful person, tribe or community was ever attacked by him. He did not allow his followers, either in his lifetime or after, to needlessly attack any people. There are many traditions and verses of the Quran which enjoin peaceful preaching of the truth through argument and reason, with wisdom and kind exhortation in the best way possible. (Nahl: 125). The sword which was used to defend the cause of Islam right from the beginning was the dhulfiqar, and the man who devoted his life to the cause of Islam was Ali. A divine voice informed the Holy Prophet in the midst of the battle of Uhad.
(There is no hero save Ali, there is no sword save dhulfiqar)
Ali, the champion of Islam, and his God-sent sword fought against the pagans of Makka and their allies and the Jews and the Christians in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. After him, he never took part in the hostile campaigns directed against the non-Muslims of the world by the companions of the Holy Prophet. It is because of the policies carried out by those companions, that men like Gibbon declared that Islam was preached by the sword, as he (wrongly) concluded that what the followers did, must have been the policy of the preacher. He failed to identify the true followers of the prophet of Islam, Ali and his sons, who, after the Holy Prophet, took the sword in their hands, not to enslave the non-Muslims and appropriate their wealth, but to save Islam from the evil of hypocrisy which had emerged in full force to mutilate the beautiful face of Islam. "I shall not cease to fight against the hypocrites until the last of them is driven out from the fold of the true believers," said Imam Ali ibna abi Talib. In Kerbala Imam Husayn bin Ali used the dhulfiqar for the last time to distinguish between right and wrong or truth and falsehood. When this purpose was served the God-sent sword was sheathed for ever till the return of the last living Imam. The event of Kerbala clearly separated and identified the two camps the camp of Allah and the camp of Shaytan. The Imams in the progeny of Imam Husayn, through piety, reason and wisdom, preached the true religion of Allah. The hypocrisy of the usurpers, through ruthless intimidation and shameless treason, opposed them to crush and destroy the Islam original kept alive by the Ahlalbayt. Yet the Islam original flourished. The severest despots could not obliterate it.

Man's life and his possessions are not his own. They belong to Allah. Man only holds them as a trust. He should not use them to please himself. He must spend of his possessions and readily give his life in the way of Allah to promote His cause, as Imam Husayn did in Kerbala. But he must protect his life and property when there is no danger to the religion or to the mission of Allah, as the Holy Prophet did at the time of the treaty of Hudaybiya, as Ali did in Siffin, and as Hasan did with Mu-awiya.

"Whoever profits by combining umrah with hajj means that after performing umrah, the
pilgrim casts off ihram and puts it on again at the time of hajj, but by combining umrah with hajj he does not have to journey again for hajj after umrah, and also does not have to be in ihram all the time during the intervening period. The second caliph, nominated by the first caliph, who opposed this in the life time of the holy Prophet, issued orders to discontinue it and muta ul nisa, and hayya ala khayril amal from the azan. However, the later jurists did not follow his order for discontinuation of the muta ul hajj but the muta ul nisa and hayya ala khayril amal had been discontinued by the ignorant people in contravention of the divine commandments (Nisa: 24).

Mankind was ignorant, closely associated with each other in waywardness and lack of knowledge, before the revelation of divine wisdom. Therefore, prophets were sent to enable people to distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong. It agrees with v 19 of Yunus. So the purpose of the divine mission was not to bring unity among the people who differed in their religious ideologies, but to develop their aptitude for choosing the right path by pinpointing evil and evildoers.

This verse confirms the saying of the Holy Prophet that his companions would follow in the footsteps of the Jews and the Christians in deviating from the right path and wavering in faith. v 213 and 214 of this surah also confirm that the prophets came to develop the aptitude of man for distinguishing between right and wrong and test his ability to choose the right path. Reaction to the prophetic mission varies according to the receptibility of an individual. Therefore, the followers of the last prophet are not an exception to this general rule. They cannot be said to be equal in faith. Some were certain. Some were doubtful. Some were sincere. Some were hypocrites.

What should be spent in the way of Allah? Whatever good that may benefit others is the answer. As Zakat (the poor-tax) is compulsory, it cannot be made a part of "whatever good you do", which has no connection with Zakat. Also, Zakat cannot be spent on the members of the family. The word afwa in v 219 of this surah makes it clear that only surplus should be given. The Holy Prophet has defined the surplus, and how much and to whom it should be given. In all events moderation is the guideline.

There cannot be peace without battle against evil. Islam dislikes war, and yet without war against corruption and injustice, the by-products of aggressive infidelity, peaceful existence and freedom of worship of One God cannot be preserved. Love of peace, harmony and freedom is rooted in the hatred of injustice, hypocrisy and chaos, which should be isolated and kept at bay by those who believe in Allah and submit to Him (Hajj: 40). Please see  190 to 194 of this surah, and v 39 of al Hajj. Permission to fight has been given to put an end to persecution and mischief-making, in order to establish freedom of worship. The mission of the Holy Prophet was based upon rational doctrines to establish the (divine) rule of law for the welfare of the whole human race. To stop this universal movement, the pagans, the Jews and the Christians left no stone unturned, because they wanted to maintain the status quo of the exploitation of man by man, to serve the interests of the wicked, devilish and brutal ruling classes. But the Holy Prophet could not give up his divinely commissioned mission, so he did not. He had to take steps to liquidate kufr in order to serve the cause of truth. Before him the other messengers of Allah did the same. Even the followers of Christ and Buddha could not do without pre-emptive strike to forestall hostile actions. Of course, this may give licence to the mischief-makers to guise their personal interests in the garb of "the larger interest of the humanity"; therefore, to cancel the misuse of this principle, the Quran has prescribed certain qualifications in a person, or group of persons, who alone are entitled to resort to the right of a pre-emptive strike.

Yat-hurna means cessation of menstruation or the state after ghusl (bath) - for details refer to fiqh.
Min haythu amarakum means "as ordained"-see next verse.
Yuhibbul mutatahhirin refers to the purification of the body as well as the mind. Islamic instructions and restrictions bring forth mental and physical refinement, both equally important.

"Do with your tillage as you like" explains "Do with them as ordained" of the previous verse, but keep in mind that women are a tillage, therefore, dealing with it in a wasteful or unnatural way is foolish and detestable.
Qaddimu li-anfusikum means do good before-hand for your life after death, because ultimately you will meet Allah.

Darra (transitive) means to harm. Tadarrur (intransitive) means to suffer harm. In v 12 of al Nisa mudarr has been used which means "either to harm or suffer harm.". In this verse it is said that on account of the child or the disagreement between the parents, none of the three (father, mother or the child) should be harmed by any of them. Please refer to fiqh for proper understanding of the issues pertaining to the rights and duties of the mother and the husband during the period of suckling of their babies, and the duties of the heir of the husband, and employment of a wet-nurse.

The wife of a deceased man should keep herself in waiting for four months and ten days, even if she had no intercourse with her dead husband. If she is pregnant she should wait upto the prescribed period or the delivery, whichever is later.

Salat prayed in danger, is called salat ul khawf. According to this verse salat cannot be missed under any circumstances.

According to Manhaj us Sadiqin and Majma-ul Bayan v 235 of al Baqarah and v 11 and 12 of al Nisa abrogate this verse. A close study of these verses does not bring out any contradiction. v 235 of al Baqarah only fixes the obligatory period of waiting for a widow, therefore, if the widow stays in her husband's house, she is entitled to receive the advantages of the bequest her husband makes for her according to this verse; and v 11 and 12 of al Nisa grant the widow her share, in addition to the benefits mentioned in this verse. These two verses safeguard the rights and freedom of the widow, but do not reduce the utility of the bequest, therefore, there is no abrogation.

"Provision according to custom" is an extra grant to the widow in addition to the dowry which must be paid to her. This verse and v 236 of this surah enjoin on men to employ piety, grace, love and clemency in dealing with women even when they are separated, in addition to the rights given to her.

The instructions inferred from this verse are as under:
Legislation, process of governing and administration of justice are the functions of a sovereign. And sovereignty belongs to Allah, He delegates all the functions to a single person as His vicegerent, or chooses different persons to carry out one or more of them separately. Samuel had been entrusted with the authority to convey legislation and administer justice. When the people requested for a king as an executor, Allah appointed Talut as their king. It means in the presence of a divine legislator and judge, an executor can also be appointed . It makes clear that Samuel (the prophet) had no right to appoint an executor. It also gives permission to allow the people to have a say in the formation of the executive authority. The voice of the people may also be heard in addition to the book and the sunnah of the Holy Prophet, if not contradictory to these two agencies, in legislative and judicial functions. But to claim sovereignty, which belongs only to Allah, is to return to the days of ignorance. It is not Islam.
Jihad (war in the way of Allah) was prescribed and carried out by the prophets also.
The reaction of the people to the divine appointment of the executor can be favourable or unfavourable. The Jews did not like the appointment of Talut as a king. Likewise, the Muslims also did not approve the appointment of Ali as the successor of the Holy Prophet. The unfavourable reaction of the people, based upon ignorance and short-sightedness, can be compared to the reaction of the angels when Allah appointed Adam as His vicegerent. The answer to this reaction is almost the same as given in v 30 to 39 of this surah.
Whenever the question of succession to the Holy Prophet in the matters of legislation, execution and justice is dealt with, the implications of this verse should be taken into consideration. v 55 of al Nur gives strength to the point of view of the followers of Muhammad and Ali Muhammad.

The executor appointed by Allah (see v 247 of al Baqarah) should have the divine signs, the sacred heritage of the divinely chosen lineage which is endowed with the tranquillity (sakinah), on account of which no worldly or temporal force or consideration would frighten him from the way and cause of Allah. Such an appointed executor who slept in the bed of the Holy Prophet on the night of the migration is praised in v 207 of al Baqarah (see commentary); and the sorry plight of the man who by himself claimed the executorship with the help of his comrades is exposed in v 40 of al Tawbah. On every occasion it was Ali, the beloved of Allah and His messenger, who fearlessly strived in the cause of Allah and destroyed the enemies of Allah and His messenger, while the rest of the companions either watched the fighting from a safe distance or ran away from the battlefield; this was so because there was tranquillity in Ali's heart from the Lord, as has been confirmed by v 26 of al Tawbah and v 26 of al Fat-h. Besides this in-built tranquillity, the appointed executor must possess the divine heritage of the holy house, therefore, in view of the saying of the Holy Prophet that "Ali is to me as Harun was to Musa", the divine authority to guide and administer human society cannot be claimed by any one who does not belong to the holy Ahlalbayt (Nisa: 54).

Before Adam "survival of the fittest" was the driving force among all types of creatures. In the struggle for existence, every living being used all available means, good or bad, to obtain maximum resources, without giving any thing to other fellow beings. It was almost an animal society. It was evil. Islam stopped it. With the development of intellectual faculties and inspiration, natural tendencies gave place to moral values, and instead of fighting for food and material necessities, men began to distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad. v 40 of al Hajj gives permission to fight against those who deprive people from the essential freedom to worship Allah and to make use of His bounties justly and equitably. Those who strive in the cause of Allah, to put an end to the survival of the fittest theory, receive help from Allah. Therefore the true servants of Allah vie with one another to fight against the evil in their own selves and in the society in order to be nearer to Allah. "And everyone has a direction to which he turns, so hasten to do good (Baqarah: 184)." "So vie one with another in good deeds (Ma-idah: 48)." To stop this striving in the cause of Allah means reversion to the animal way of life. And were it not for Allah's repelling some men by means of others the earth would certainly be in a state of disorder.

In addition to the guiding statements of the two distinguished prophets of Allah - Musa to whom Allah spoke, and Isa to whom He gave clear miracles and strengthened with the holy spirit. there are several verses in the Quran, according to which the Holy Prophet occupies the highest place in the company of all the prophets of Allah. He is the superior-most messenger of Allah. The glory of the divinity of the Lord manifests, reflects and radiates in him to maximum perfection. Endowed with perfection, he was sent as a "mercy unto the worlds" (Ambia: 107). The other prophets were sent to guide a particular people in a particular place (Matthew 10: 5 and 6), therefore, in view of their limited mission, they are not on the level of the Holy Prophet who was sent to guide and discipline the whole mankind for all times (Saba: 28). As the Holy Prophet is the best of all the prophets of Allah, a distinguished group among his followers has been raised up by Allah as khayra ummatin, the best of all the people (see v 110 of Ali Imran).
To understand kalamallaku (Allah spoke) it is necessary to refer to v 51 of al Shura:
"It is not to any mortal (man) that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration or through (from behind) a veil,"
Allah does not speak in the sense attributed to the created beings who use the mouth and the tongue to produce sound. The veil can be anything which can be caused to produce sound.
This verse implies that a large number of messengers were sent by Allah. He made some of these messengers to excel others, and some of them He exalted in rank. In the end He sent the best of them all, the Holy Prophet, to guide mankind on the right path and prevent the people of the world, in all times, from going astray in the direction of Shaytan, their avowed enemy. There is no compulsion in religion. It is not the plan of the almighty that guidance should be imposed upon any individual or community. There is complete freedom to any person who wants to go astray. Allah does not keep any one on the right path under duress if he himself, through reason and intelligence, does not make willing efforts to walk on the right path. The followers of the prophets, including the followers of the Holy Prophet, fought one another, went astray and followed the path of the devil as soon as the divinely commissioned guides, with clear signs and arguments, had left them. If Allah had willed, this straying could be stopped. He brings about what He wills. He could guide the people without the agency of the prophets, but He has given freedom to man to use reason and intelligence to distinguish between good and evil and make efforts to do good and earn reward, or make mischief and collect punishment. The door of guidance is kept open for those who sincerely seek the true direction.
As for those who strive in Us, We certainly show them our paths. (Ankabut: 69).
To fulfil this promise, the merciful Lord has established the divine institution of imamat as soon as the risalat came to an end-Ali ibna abi Talib is the first and Muhammad al Mahdi, the living Imam, is the last of the twelve divinely commissioned and infallible holy guide-leaders.
To keep himself on the right path, man has been asked to seek Allah's help by reciting al Fatihah in every salat. See the commentary of v 5 to 7 of al Fatihah.
The guidance has been made known. Now whosoever goes right, it is only for the good of his own soul that he goes right, and whosoever errs, errs only to hurt himself. Each soul earns only on its own account. According to the following verses, man has been given an independent free will to act: BAQARAH : 48 AN-AM : 165 HIJR : 42 BANI ISRAIL : 7 and 15 ANKABUT : 6 FATIR : 17 ZUMAR : 7 HA MIM : 46 DAHR : 2
The individual differences in the prophets of Allah are on account of the level of intelligence and the needs of the people amongst whom they were sent, to show them what was right and what was wrong. The manner of receiving the inspiration from Allah and the nature and limitation of every prophet's mission were determined in accordance with the ability of the people to understand and grasp the message. The last message of Allah was perfect, complete, final and conclusive. Therefore, the prophet who was chosen to deliver the final message was the most superior of all the prophets. He was not only the last prophet but also the foremost in total submission to the will of Allah.
Musa was honoured with the divine speech, Isa with the holy spirit, Ibrahim with shuhud (vision), but the Holy Prophet had the distinction of receiving the divine inspiration and revelation through all the mediums-see v 43 of al Anfal and v 60 of Bani Israil for vision in dreams, verse I of Bani Israil for vision in wakefulness; v 192 to 195 of al Shu-ara, v 52 of al Shura for the holy spirit; v 1 to 16 of al Najm and v 1 to 4 of al Rahman for direct instructions .
This verse clearly states that the discord and strife among the followers of the prophets is due to belief (iman) and disbelief (kufr), therefore, the apologetic attempt of some of the theologians to justify the dissension and conflict between the various religions or the sects of each religion as the outcome of ijtihad or discretion is based upon conjecture, and therefore, untenable.
According to Quran, such differences between the people of the scriptures is due to their rebellious attitude against the clearly manifested will and command of Allah. See v 19 of Ali Imran and v 13 of 14 of al Shura. The responsibility for wrongdoing rests with the man; and whatever good he does is from Allah.

To make the social life in this world egalitarian every individual should contribute to the welfare of the human society out of what Allah gives him. The overall effect of this system covers every person in the community.
"The unbelievers are the unjust" implies that injustice is the root of all other wrongs. According to v 13 of Luqman ascribing partners unto Allah is the greatest injustice.

Qayyum is a magnified form of the adjective qayam - standing, lasting, enduring. It implies He who stands by Himself, and all others stand because of His (eternal) endurance. His relation to His creatures is like the source of light to the rays of the light, or like the mind to the concepts, not like the relation of an architect or a builder to a construction he builds. It is exactly as Ali ibna abi Talib has said-"Every thing stands by means of Him". He is the self-subsisting everlasting, therefore, He is the first and the last, and the apparent and the hidden (Hadid: 2 and 3); and He is the knower of all things, and He is with everything but is not computed with anything (Mujadilah : 7; Ma-idah: 73).
While trying to visualise His attributes, it is necessary not to be misled by the finite inferences. His activity does not at all mean movement to perform an act by employing energy as we do. Awareness of His attributes, based upon reason and contemplation, may appear pure and perfect to us, but, in fact, it remains a shadow of the reality which transcends all faculties of comprehension.
"Slumber does not overtake Him", means that He is not influenced by any change whatsoever. He is beyond time and states, for He encompasses time and all states. He is the ever vigilant, or the true and perfect vigilance itself.
"Whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His" means that He is the creator of matter. If the "matter" is not created by Allah, and is said to be eternally existing as He is, then He is only a fashioner of things out of matter, in which case nothing belongs to Him. There is no propriety in this conjecture. It is unreasonable to say that there are two independent eternal equals. If matter is accepted as an independent and uncreated eternal, then Allah, to prove His existence, will need the matter to carry out His creative plan, otherwise the matter will remain idle. There is no meaning in the idea of two eternal equals, separated from each other. They must be one. If there are two such beings, then there must be a dividing factor which makes the two as two and maintains their two separate entities, in which case the dividing factor, superior in will and authority will be the ever-existing supreme being.
"Who can intercede with Him, except by His permission?" implies that though Allah is the almighty and the absolute sovereign but as He is also the merciful, the compassionate, He has given permission to "Muhammad and Ali Muhammad", the thoroughly purified, to intercede on behalf of the sinners. The issue of intercession has been dealt with in detail in the commentary of v 48 of this surah. Please refer to it.
"He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend anything out of His knowledge except what He pleases", means Allah's omniscience. The finite beings cannot hide anything from Allah. They cannot comprehend anything except what He pleases, no matter whatever knowledge and intelligence they possess. The facts which are unknown or unknowable to the finite beings are known to the infinite. Allah's knowledge is infinite and absolute. He is the knowing who knows ahead and in advance (in term of time and space) the origin and causality of knowledge. Although the ordinary human beings do not perceive that which is known to Allah only, but those who have been endowed with the divine knowledge are aware of the secrets of the universe.
In "His kursi (seat of authority and knowledge) extends over the heavens and the earth", although kursi literally means "chair", like arsh (used in other verses of the Quran) means "throne", but both these words have been used metaphorically. They refer to the divine knowledge and authority of the supreme, almighty and sovereign Allah, in relation to all that which has been created by Him. His "relation" with His creation, in time and space, remains unconditionally unaffected. His control over everything, created by Him, is perfect, complete and absolute. There is no limitation to the infinity of His existence, because the ever-existing existence is only His and it is He who gives existence to whom He wills. When we say "He is here, there and everywhere", we only make use of our limited and inadequate ability to understand and express His absolute infinity. He is the creator of time and space, therefore, His infinite existence cannot be conceived by the help of the knowledge derived from the system based upon experience and induction.
According to the Ahlalbayt kursi or arsh, not connected with any kind of matter, is the manifestation of His knowledge and authority in relation to all that which has been created. It includes all the heavens and the earth. Arsh refers to Allah's hold and sway over all creation. In other words, the creation as a whole is the kursi or the throne of Allah from which all His divine attributes of knowledge, wisdom, might and glory manifest.
"And the preservation of them does not tire Him" means the creation, as a whole, is sustained by Him, and its continued existence is maintained by Him. The laws (created by Him), governing the operation of creation, produce fatigue, therefore, He is independent of such laws. His absolute existence is eternal and everlasting.
"He is the most high, the great", according to the Holy Prophet, is one of the most important verses of the Quran, which deals with the unity of Allah, His attributes, His relation to His creatures, the position of man in the order of creation, his instinctive desire to turn unto Him, his means of salvation and the ultimate reward and punishment.
In order to prevent the total seizure of mind and heart by the greatness of the kursi, mentioned in this verse, it is made clear in the end that Allah alone is the most high, the greatest.

This verse states a psychological fact that the submissive attitude of the mind and heart towards any sacred object cannot be obtained by force or compulsion, therefore, only a clear view of the sacred generates the spontaneous conviction to adopt the right and reject the wrong. It is not an imperative but an indicative statement. There is no room for considering this verse as having been abrogated by any other verse dealing with jihad. This verse also asserts that after the right way has become clearly distinct from error, man must reject the false gods and believe in Allah.

Wali literally means "be close to or stand immediately by" - a nearness or contact between two objects without any intermediary. It is used to refer to such closeness as exists between brothers, friends, neighbours and helpers. A master is also called wali because of his hold over his slaves - the hold brings the slave close to the master. Any one who exercises authority becomes a wali of those over whom the authority is exercised; therefore, a guardian, an administrator or a ruler is also called wali. Here, it means that Allah is the nearest authority over the faithful; and the false gods the authorities over those who disbelieve, and who push them into hell for ever.
Nur means the light of the faith or the true awareness about Allah and firm conviction in His authority.
Zulumat means the darkness of the disbelief in Allah or the ignorance and uncertainty about Allah.
See v 35 and 36 of Ibrahim.

The personal pronoun of the third person singular in the objective case hu may refer to Ibrahim, and the mulk means kingdom, the spiritual as well as rightful (see v 54 of al Nisa); and if it refers to Nimrud then the mulk would mean temporal and actual though not rightful. However, the meaning and application of this verse remains the same as explained above.

"Allah gives life and causes to die, and then He gives life to the dead", mentioned in v 258, 259 and 260, makes clear the power and authority of almighty Allah, but to deny the miracles associated with the prophets of Allah, the Ahmadi commentator and others like him rely on conjecture to find out metaphorical parallels, as if they are aware of all that is possible or impossible, and the laws governing the operation of creation.
Of such a claim, v 51 of al Kahf says:
"I made them not to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor at the creation of themselves, nor am I He who chooses those who lead (the people) astray, (as My) helpers."
In the following two Persian lyrics, life on earth in relation to heavenly existence has been meaningfully described.
(1) What does the mosquito know from where came the garden and how it grew. It is born in the spring and dies in the autumn.
(2) The heavenly existence addresses life on earth:
"For us, a century of years is only a breath,
an ocean of yours a moisture,
we only see and move on."
The terms life and death can be applied, in the physical sense, to a man or any other creature, a group of men or a nation. It can also be applied to a man's or a nation's spiritual rise and fall, with reference to knowledge or faith or any accomplishment. In both the meanings it may take place in its usual or natural course, known to us, or it may take place on account of an unusual course. not known to or unknowable to us. Whatever takes place is an effect of Allah's will.
Though many a commentator says that these verses refer to Ibrahim and the Israelite prophets. yet the Jews and the Christians of today may not accept their conclusions, based upon the references to the Old and the New Testaments, as likely and reliable. The Shia commentators rely on the reports and opinions of the Ahlalbayt whose source of information is the Holy Prophet whom Allah Himself gave the wisdom and knowledge of all creation directly. The ideas, theories and events presented by the scholars of the highest calibre, by referring to the Old or the New Testament or any other book, cannot be accepted if these do not agree with the Quran or the explanation or interpretation given by the holy Imams.
To attach strings to charity, or to make it known, or to reproach the overly solicitous seeker of help, is an exercise in futility and renders the charity useless.
While giving Zakat and sadqa, one positively lays claim to the act of goodness done in obedience to Allah, but salat is an act of devotion which implies self-denial; the devotee is engrossed in the greatness of the absolute. Sublime was the devotee, Ali ibna abi Talib, who performed these two different acts at the same time - prayed as well as spent in the way of Allah, and, therefore, was declared to be the wali of the faithful along with Allah and His messenger, in v 55 of al Ma-idah.

Miserliness due to the fear of poverty is an indecent tendency prompted by Shaytan who enjoins selfishness upon those who have devilish characteristics, whereas those who are godly in nature always expect grace and abundance from Allah, therefore, give what they receive from Him.

Refer to fiqh for the details pertaining to the contracts of debt. In this verse Allah teaches us to write down and record the fact so that there may be no dispute in future. The one very important consequence of learning the art of writing is literacy. According to the Quran knowledge or education is the most valuable virtue. According to Tabari, the Holy Prophet, in order to remove illiteracy, asked the literate pagan captives, after the battle of Badr, to teach reading and writing to the Muslims. In return, he set free one pagan if he had taught writing to ten Muslim boys. When the Quran has asked the faithful to record in writing the transactions between individuals to avoid disputes, then it become all the more imperative that the sayings and doings of the Holy Prophet, one of the two main sources of Islamic ideology and jurisprudence, should have been faithfully recorded. However on account of political exigency, after the departure of the Holy Prophet, it was not done, lest the fighting spirit of the Arab soldiers be adversely affected if their attention was diverted to intellectual progress. Not only was the writing down of the Holy Prophet's sayings stopped but large libraries in the conquered lands of Egypt and Persia were burned and destroyed in the days of the second caliph on the plea that if those books were in agreement with the Quran, they did not need it, and if they were not, then they deserved destruction (Tabari, Yaquti and others).
As a result of not writing down the sayings and doings of the Holy Prophet, a great many disputes surfaced among the Muslims, dividing them in several sects and schools of thought.
At a time when the Muslim ummah was conquering far away lands and bringing in camel-laden booties in the streets of Madina, according to the well-known Muslim historian, Amir Ali, in his book "the Spirit of Islam", Ali was giving lectures in the masjid to spread knowledge, wisdom and intellectual progress, which emerged in full force among the later Saracen race.
It must be noted that it was Ali who advised the second caliph not to destroy the famous library in Alexandria, which was founded by the Greek scholars. Ali and the men attached with the holy house of the Ahlalbayt continued to record the traditions of the Holy Prophet in writing. Bukhari refers to a sahifa maintained by Ali which contained the true dictations of the Holy Prophet. According to many historians, Abdullah bin Abu Rafi-i, the freed slave of Imam Ali, had produced a recorded document containing the sayings of the Holy Prophet, narrated by Ali ibna abi Talib.

"And whether you manifest what is in your minds or hide it (intentions and motives), Allah will call you to account according to it"; makes it clear that there is no room for treating this verse as abrogated.
All actions of Allah, including reward and punishment, are the immediate effects of His will. It does not mean that His actions are arbitrary. His justice, wisdom, grace, love and mercy are reflected in His will. There is no contradiction in His attributes which play a very important role in shaping His will. His will follows His wisdom.

Wusat means extent or ability with ease. It implies that Allah expects from you as much as you are able to give with ease, for which you have to go to the extent of your potential. It refutes the doctrine of determinism (jabr). Allah does not ask man to do that which is beyond his capacity, nor He does impose a duty to do that which is difficult for him. "He has not laid upon you in religion any hardship (Al Hajj: 78)" The Holy Prophet has also said:
"I have brought you a very easy religion with a great many facilities."
Kasb and its derivatives have been used in the Quran mostly in the meaning of consequences of action, and sometimes for taking into consideration the inclination to do an act. The determinist school wrongly differentiates between the act and what it earns, by saying that "the act" is done by Allah but man earns its recompense. This school of thought is unable to explain how the act can be separated from its consequences exactly as the Christians cannot make clear the theory of trinity. "Do not lay on us a burden (isr) such as You laid on those before us!" implies that the duties and injunctions for the believers, before the Holy Prophet, were very hard and difficult; and the word isr (burden) also used in v 157 of al A-raf, carries the undertaking that it will be removed.

Ayatollah Mahdi Pooya says:
Tawrat, Injil and the books, mentioned here and in other verses of the Quran, refer to that which was revealed to Musa, Isa and other prophets. Tawrat (the revealed will of Allah) was revealed to Musa. In Hebrew it means light. But the Old Testament is a collection of several other books in addition to the Pentateuch. The four gospels of the New Testament are not the Injil revealed to prophet Isa. These gospels contain only some extracts of the sayings of Isa, and narrate his activities in Galilee, Jerusalem and other habitations of the Jews. The Christian Bible is a book of traditions like the books of traditions written by Muslim, Bukhari and other writers of traditions. These four gospels were written by the followers of Jesus, whom the Christian church proclaims as the apostles. In fact the teaching of Jesus is the gospel, which means glad tidings or good news, because the advent of the last prophet of Allah,
the Holy Prophet, was foretold by him, as mentioned in John 14: 16, 17; and 15: 26; and 16: 7 to 13 (see v 40 of al Baqarah). The Old and the New Testaments, known as the Bible, is an edited edition of the corrupted and distorted Jewish scripts, prepared to give currency to the doctrine of trinity.
It is mentioned in Mark 1: 15 that Jesus asked his disciples to believe in the gospel and preach it to the children of Israel. The gospel referred to by Isa was the Injil, original text of which is not available. On account of theological considerations adhered to by the first council of Venice, the four gospels, written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; are said to be authentic, otherwise there is no historical evidence to support this claim. There were other gospels written by some other disciples but they are treated as apocryphal (spurious) and non-canonic.
The Quran is the only uncorrupted book of Allah, containing the true word of Allah in its original purity, revealed to the Holy Prophet, who pronounced it as it was revealed to him, recorded then and there, preserved, never tampered with, and transferred to generation after generation.
Falsehood cannot come near it from before it nor from behind it. (It is) a revelation from the all-wise, the most praised. (Ha Mim: 42)
"As He likes" implies the omnipotence of the divine will. He does what He wills.
A thorough study of the formation and development of the embryo in any specie, brought into being by the particular protoplasm of its member, proves that it is a carefully designed operation. The way in which the parts of an individual, the members of a specie, and all the species are connected with each other, as the components of the universe, provides sufficient proof that the creator, designer and architect of the whole as well as the components is He, the almighty, the all wise, the one self-subsisting (qayyum), besides whom there is no god.
Someone asked Tolstoy:
"Do you see the hand of God (a miracle) in the birth of Christ?"
He replied:
"I see the hand of God in the birth of every child."
The hand of God is visible in the working of the whole universe. He is the first, the everlasting, the apparent, the hidden.
Although ordinarily the laws enforced by the will of Allah keep the creation in operation, yet He is not unable to manifest the extraordinary, which the ignorant or the pseudo intellectuals deny, because He has power over all things and He does what He wills. Reproduction by means of an unfertilised ovum is common in insects and bees. If the author of the nature so wills, He can make use of this process in a human being also. So He created Isa without a father. This verse is an introduction to the birth of Isa, narrated in the subsequent verses.

Nothing in the earth or in the heavens is hidden from Allah, the self-subsisting, because He is the author of the book of creation (the development of the embryo has been mentioned in the previous verse as an example). In this verse He says that the author of the book of creation is also the author of the book of legislation (the Quran).
The book of creation (the universe) contains miscellaneous signs. Some are clear. Some are intricate and perplexing. For example (in the book of creation) the function and the significance of every part of the human structure has been studied and defined except the "appendix". Now a rational student of the book of creation will say:
"As no part is without some significance, this also must have some meaning, though I have not yet understood it."
On the contrary a mischief-maker will mix up that which is known with that which is not known and deny both by saying:
"As no reason or significance is found in this part, therefore, there is no reason or significance in the whole."
Likewise in the book of legislation, some signs (verses) are clear and decisive (muhkam), and some have several possible meanings (mutashabih), therefore, the rational mind will try to understand the mutashabih (unclear) verses in the light of the muhkam (clear and decisive) verses, by proceeding from the known to the unknown or from the concrete to the abstract; but the perverse mind will judge that which is certainly precise and definite in the light of the complex so as to mislead people by dubious misinterpretations.
Verse 1 of al Hud says that all the verses of the book are well arranged and firmly established. The arrangement of the words in the verses and the verses in the surahs is so accurate and proper that they all form a consistent unity, though they were separately revealed. It implies that the Quran was already arranged and established before its revelation, which is confirmed by v 105 of Bani Israil. In v 23 of al Zumar, the book is presented as consistent, consimilar and conformable in its parts (mutashabihan). But in this verse mutashabihat refers to the meanings, the implications, the connotations and the denotations of the complex passages.
Muhtam (clear) and mutashabih (complex) are relative terms. What is unclear to some may be apparent and definite to others. There may be quite a few features and viewpoints inherent in certain ideas, or commands, or narrations. Studying them from a particular angle will make their meaning and purpose crystal clear but their clarity may turn into obscurity when they are viewed from another standpoint. At all events, the complex should be examined and interpreted in the light of that which is clear and decisive, or as explained by the Holy Prophet, or by those whose authority has been established by the Holy Prophet and the Quran (see pages 1 to 7, commentary of v 6 and 7 of al Fatihah, and v 2, 30 to 37 and 124 of al Baqarah). In the light of v 16 to 19 of al Qiyamah, the divine agency collects, recites and interprets the Quran. As the book is a guidance for mankind, there should be no unintelligible or incomprehensible passage in it. There is none. As asserted by the Ahlalbayt, rasikhuna fil ilm is conjuncted with Allah and yaquluna is an adverbial clause qualifying the state of knowledge, referring to rasikhun. In the Nahj al Balagha, Ali ibna abi Talib says that the rasikhuna fil ilm believe in the unknown in the light of the known. As explained in the commentary of v 3 of al Baqarah the knowledge of the ghayb (unknown) is with the infinite, therefore, the awareness of the finite created beings, even if they are endowed with the divine insight, cannot be at par with the absolute wisdom of the ghayb ul mutlaq, the hayyul qayyum creator. All that which becomes (in obedience) effective, as soon as He wills, is knowable to man. A finite being can know as much as the infinite all-wise likes him to know and grow in knowledge, which implies that basically his knowledge was insufficient but he rises towards the level of perfection, with the help of divine endowment, on his own merits, to become aware of the meanings of all that which has been revealed in the book, because, if it is not so, such revelations (mutashabihat) would be unprofitable and frustrating. So what Imam Ali ibna abi Talib and Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir have said in this connection is true.

There is an unchanging conflict between the empty and perishable sensuous pleasures and the lasting intellectual and spiritual delight and bliss.
In this verse shahadat (bearing witness) has been restricted to Allah, the angels and those endowed with (divine) knowledge, although in many other verses it is stated that every being in the heavens and the earth glorifies Allah and bears witness to His unity (tawhid). The restriction is justified because, in this verse, shahadat has been used in the sense of a particular knowledge which contains perceptual insight to realise the truth of His tawhid Allah directly knows that "there is no god save He", because He is the known, the knowing and the knower. Those who have attained the perceptual insight of the realisation of truth, by complete mental absorption of the absolute, possess the same quality of knowledge. Whoever reaches this stage naturally becomes entitled to bear witness over His creation. In the Quran such witnesses have been described as shuhada. In v 41 of al-Nisa and 89 of al Nahl, Allah says that He will call the Holy Prophet as witness over other witnesses.

If qa-iman bil qist is treated as the adverbial clause qualifying the state of ulul ilm (those endowed with knowledge), then grammatically it should have been in plural, therefore, it is true that it qualifies the state of the divine unity. It lays stress on the interrelation between the unity of His essence and His justice, which, as His all embracing attribute, defines and determines His action, and reflects itself in all His attributes. The source of all the attributes manifesting in His justice is the unity of His essence. According to the Holy Prophet the structure of the whole universe stands on the foundation of His justice. So none can perceive Him and His unity unless one upholds and maintains justice. Justice is with unity and unity is with justice. They are correlative and inseparable. Islam teaches us that all excellences flow from the sublime source of justice and all vices proceed from the base root of injustice-see Nisa: 135; Ma-idah: 8; and Hadid :25.
In v 7 of this surah the Quran refers to the decisive verses (muhkamat) as the essence of the book, in the light of which all the other complex verses (mutashabihat) should be interpreted. In view of the interrelation between the unity of His essence and His justice, all the verses in His book of creation and in His book of legislation should be interpreted in a manner which must always be in harmony with the unity of His essence and His justice. The logical method, prescribed by the Quran, is to proceed from the known to the unknown. As the whole universe stands on the basis of the unity and justice of the absolute, it is essential to prescribe justice (adl) as the second article of faith, immediately after tawhid, the first article of faith.

Islam is the only religion of Allah. The differences among the various religions and their sects are due to the tendency of revolt against the truth after it has been made known.

The three categories of the rebels, mentioned in this verse, are given below:
(1) Those who disbelieve in the signs of Allah.
(2) Those who slay and persecute the advocates and enjoiners of justice, the holy Imams of the Ahlalbayt, the successors of the Holy Prophet.

Good deeds done by a believer will be rewarded in full, but the good deeds of the above noted rebels, if there be any, shall go to waste. The crimes, listed in the preceding verse as 1, 2 and 3, are so interrelated that one leads to the other, as pointed out in v 10 of al Rum, which was appropriately quoted by Bibi Zaynab binta Ali in her reply to Yazid when he said, after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn, that Muhammad played a game to establish a Hashemite kingdom, otherwise neither any revelation was revealed, nor any angel came to him.
The evil was the consequence (end) to those who wrought (dealt in) evil, because they denied the signs (revelations) of Allah and made fun of them. (Rum: 10)

The arrogant persistence to follow their own opinion, based upon conjecture, in the application of divine laws, created a rebellious tendency in the people of the book, which encouraged them to presume that ultimate salvation is obtainable only by mere (what is said and nothing else) declaration of the faith, and if there is punishment for misdeeds and wrongdoing, it would be only for a certain number of days. As mentioned in v 22 of this surah, there shall be no helper for them on the day of reckoning.

Sovereignty belongs to Allah; He is the sole and the ultimate authority in the domains of creation and legislation. Every thing submits to the authority of the master of the universe, the absolute sovereign, because all things in the universe have been created by Him, and therefore, Islam, the only religion of Allah and the only means of salvation, stands for total submission to Allah's will-a truism candidly summed up in these verses in the form of a prayer. The Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt have rightly advised the faithfuls to recite this prayer at all occasions, so that the conviction in the omnipotence of the almighty permeates their hearts and minds to guide them in all their mental and physical activities. A complete resignation to Allah's will is possible only when man believes that it is Allah who alone can do and undo things, conceivable and inconceivable, easy and difficult. Then the grace of the merciful Lord abounds, because in His hand is all good. He is the absolute sovereign. None has any right or claim upon Allah. He bestows His bounties on whomsoever He likes. There should be no complaint, nor grudge, nor frustration. With total resignation to His will, man must pray and invoke His mercy to obtain fulfilment of his legitimate wants and needs. Ibna Abbas says that these verses contain the ism al azam, the greatest name of Allah, therefore, its recitation for obtaining fulfilment of desires brings positive results, provided that in thoughts and deeds the supplicant wholeheartedly relies upon Allah's omnipotence and judgement, and remains thankful in all events and under all circumstances. Nothing is impossible for Him.
An usurper or a tyrant, by actual control of the machinery of government, may become a defacto ruler. The Nimruds and the Fir-awns were defacto rulers. They also claimed divinity. A large number of people accepted them as gods, but none of them was a de jure God. The theoreticians, in the employment of the usurpers and tyrants, try to misguide the people by arguing that a de facto wielder of power is also a de jure ruler. It is a fact that there are some chosen representatives of Allah who, by right, are entitled to exercise the authority, given to them by Allah Himself, which they do as the de jure authorities (Baqarah: 247; Nisa: 54, Munafiqun: 8), although the defacto kingdom may be in the hands of others who are rightly described as usurpers in the political thought of true and original Islam.
Yazid bin Mu-awiyah, the de facto ruler, argued with the Ahlalbayt by quoting this verse that he was also the de jure authority. Bibi Zaynab binta Ali proved his deceitful claim false by showing the inherent weakness in the theory of fatalism. In her analytical, objective, and rational discourse she quoted v 178 of Ali Imran and v 10 of al Rum to establish the fact that those who disbelieve, imagine that the rein Allah gives them does good to them, whereas, truly Allah gives them rein that they may grow in sinfulness, for which there is a disgraceful punishment for them, because evil is the consequence to those who deal in evil by denying the signs of Allah and making a mockery of them.
The chosen representatives of Allah, His signs, are the real authorities to administer God's kingdom, because of their total submission to Allah's will (Baqarah: 247; Nisa: 54 and Munafiqun: 8). To enable the true faithfuls to identify the rightful inheritors of God's kingdom, an extract from the prayer of Imam Ali bin Husayn al Zaynal Abidin is given below:
O my Allah, this office (administration of the God's kingdom) belongs to the leaders appointed by Thee, Thy chosen friends, because it was founded and preserved for Thy fearless trustees, who have been particularly elected to execute this highest function, but Thy representatives have been wronged by the usurpers, every trick is used to harass them and to snatch from them their rights, again and again intimidated and exposed to dangers. Thy book has been thrown to the winds, commandments made obligatory by Thee have been falsified and put out of context, and Thy prophet's way of life has been discontinued and discarded. Why? Thou knows best.
(Du-a al Jumu-ah-Sahifa al Kamilah)
If the theory of might is right is accepted then usurpation will have no meaning at all.

According to the doctrine of taqiyah under certain circumstances a faithful can make friends with his adversary to save his life and property, otherwise friendship between a believer and an unbeliever is prohibited because it would make the believer drift in the direction of unbelief.
Taqiyah means to hide one's faith to protect one's life and property in the interest of the faith, permissible according to this verse (see books of fiqh). Nifaq means to pretend to believe what one actually does not believe for worldly gains (Nahl: 106), condemned in the Holy Quran again and again.
Allah's pleasure should be the object of hiding or making known that which is in one's heart.

Allah warns man to beware of His retribution. The best and the surest way of becoming His faithful servant so as to deserve His affection is to keep Him in mind and His pleasure (supreme) as the ultimate purpose of all actions.

According to An-am: 50;Araf: 203;Yunus: 15; Ahqaf: 9 and Najm: 3 and 4, since the Holy Prophet only followed the divine will, therefore, following in his footsteps is the only proof of the love of Allah, which alone entitles man to receive Allah's love. Any deviation from his word or deed means the deviator not only loses Allah's love but also earns His displeasure.
Ali ibna abi Talib has said:
The words and deeds of the Holy Prophet, from the beginning to the end of his stay in this world, were the truest demonstration of the divine revelations (nothing but a revelation revealed), and I did not follow any save him.
Therefore, Ali was the beloved of Allah and His prophet because he loved Allah and His prophet.

It has been proved beyond doubt that he who submits to Allah's will (becomes a Muslim) has to love Allah, His Prophet and his Ahlalbayt, then only he will be able to follow the sunnah (way of life) of the Holy Prophet, without which he cannot be a Muslim.
What is prophethood? How is a prophet selected or chosen? To know that prophethood is bestowed by a proper course of divine selection in which heredity plays a great part, the following observations should be carefully studied and understood.
(1) In strict compliance with the divine plan, every created being finds itself in the place it deserves in the arc of descent (downward journey from the absolute to the rudimentary matter) as well as in the arc of ascent (return upward journey from the rudimentary matter to the absolute).
(2) Therefore, selection means putting each particle of the universe in the proper place it deserves in the management of existence.
(3) The rudimentary matter, through the process of qualitative change, can take the form of a being, but each of the diverse forms it takes differs from the other in the combined effect of the aptitude and competency it bears. The solar system is a complex and intricate form of matter, yet all its parts or portions do not have the same ability as the earth does, nor do all the parts or portions of the earth carry the capacity to take the form of a living thing, nor do the parts or portions which carry the capacity to take the form of a living thing can become a human being; and likewise, the parts or portions which have the potential of becoming human beings do not necessarily produce men of superior quality. The part or portion of the matter which has the potential to take the form of a superior human being was selected for Adam. The process of creation is the same but, as education is a process of selection by means of which the latent mental capacities are awakened and used for higher purposes, the men of superior quality and character are made to emerge from that part or portion of the matter which has the potential to become a human being.
(4) It is necessary that the part or portion which has the potential of producing the superior-most human beings should not be contaminated in the course of its development whilst passing through the parental channels. Therefore, vigilant care by the divine agency has to carry the purity and refinement of this superiority through the selected lineage at all stages, till it reaches the desired destination. The Holy Quran refers here to this process of selection and choice of a particular lineage for risalat and imamat. It starts from Adam and passes through Nuh to Ibrahim. After Ibrahim it was bifurcated in his two sons, Ismail and Ishaq . The descendants of Ismail are known as ali Ibrahim, and the descendants of Ishaq  are called ali Imran. The selection of the line of ali Imran for prophethood was terminated after Isa whose birth, disappearance (Allah raised him alive to the heaven) and promised re-appearance (at the end of this world before the day of resurrection) are the signs (miracles) of Allah; but the line of ali Ibrahim, through Ismail, remained chosen till Abd al Muttalib, and then again bifurcated through Abdullah and Abu Talib. Muhammad al Mustafa was the son of Abdullah and Ali al Murtada was the son of Abu Talib. When Ali and Bibi Fatimah, the daughter of the Holy Prophet, were joined in the holy matrimony, the line of Ibrahim continued in their progeny:
Imam Hasan bin Ali al Mujtaba
Imam Husayn bin Ali al Shahid al Shuhada
Imam Ali bin Husayn al Zayn al Abidin
Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq
Imam Musa bin Jafar al Kazim
Imam Ali bin Musa al Rida
Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Taqi
Imam Ali bin Muhammad al Naqi
Imam Hasan bin Ali al Askari
Imam Muhammad bin Hasan al Mahdi
The disappearance and the promised re-appearance of the living Iman al Mahdi resembles the disappearance and the promised re-appearance of Isa; both are examples for the house of Ismail and the house of Israil respectively (Zukhruf: 59). When both of them will re-appear at the end of the world, before the day of resurrection, prophet Isa will follow Imam Muhammad al Mahdi, and the whole mankind will follow them.
Allah chose Adam, Nuh, ali Ibrahim and ali Imran in preference to others for appointing His messengers and guides. It is a selection from the descendants of Adam, Nuh, Ibrahim and Imran, because all their children did not have the superior quality to represent Allah.
The Holy Prophet has said:
Allah selected Adam in preference to all other creatures; from among the descendants of Adam, He selected Nuh; from among the descendants of Nuh, He selected Ibrahim; from among the descendants of Ibrahim, He selected Ismail; from among the Quraysh, He selected Hashim. All of them carried my nur (the first light which came forth from the absolute and goes on till the day of resurrection to manifest ultimately in the arc of ascent). It passed through Abd al Muttalib to Abdullah and Abu Talib. I am from Abdullah and Ali is from Abu Talib. Ali and I are one and the same nur.
Dhurriyatan ba-duha min ba-din, in the next verse, excludes any possibility of including the followers in al, as some commentators try to do by comparing the word al used here with al used in ali Fir-awn, the followers of Fir-awn. Here, heredity is the essential basis of choosing a person for risalat, therefore, no follower can be included in the ali Muhammad (Ahlalbayt) for conferring the office of imamat. To acknowledge the excellence of Salman the Holy Prophet bestowed on him the highest honour of belonging to the select group of the Ahlalbayt but as he was not an offspring of the Holy Prophet, he could not be appointed as an Imam. In spite of her piety and righteousness Ummi Salimah was not considered one of the Ahlalbayt though suitable appreciation by the Holy Prophet consoled her. Some of his other wives also coveted for the inclusion but were refused without even a consolation.
The Holy Prophet, his ancestors and his descendants (ali Muhammad) are ali Ibrahim (Baqarah: 124, 128, 129; Ibrahim: 37). They were the descendants of Ismail. The descendants of Ishaq  are also ali Ibrahim. Ali Imran may refer to Imran, the father of Musa and Harun, or to Imran, the father of Maryam, mother of Isa. Here ali Ibrahim also includes Ibrahim, as Musa and Harun are included in ali Musa and ali Harun in v 248 of al Baqarah.

The word imra-at means wife when related to a personal noun, but alone it means a woman. In this verse it is related to Imran, therefore, means wife of Imran. As usual, to create confusion and deny miracles associated with the prophets of Allah, the Ahmadi commentator has translated imra-at as "woman" in order to twist and obscure the meanings of the words of this verse.
There are three persons named Imran:
(1) The father of Musa and Harun.
(2) The father of Maryam (grandfather of Isa).
(3) The father of Ali, the paternal uncle of the Holy Prophet, known as Abu Talib.
Imran, the father of Maryam, is referred to in this verse, not Imran, the father of Musa and Harun. There is a long period of time between Musa and Isa, therefore, some of the Christian scholars wrongly conclude that the Quran and the Holy Prophet (God forbid) made a mistake by stating that the mother of Maryam is the sister of Musa. The Holy Prophet knew well that between Musa and Isa there were several prophets of Allah- Dawud, Sulayman, Yunus, Zakariyya, Yahya. Isa was the last prophet of the children of Israil, after whom none was sent as a prophet of Allah save Ahmad, the Holy Prophet himself, a fact recorded in Deuteronomy 18: 18, 19;John 4: 16; 15: 26; 16: 7, 8, 12, 13.
Muharraran means freed or liberated. Here it means freed from worldly attachments, and therefore devoted to Allah's service.

Prophet Zakariyya's prayer makes it clear that Maryam received her sustenance direct from Allah, the miraculous nature of which made Zakariyya turn to Allah to beseech Him for a son he could not have since his wife was barren; and as a prophet he knew that only a miracle willed by Allah could give him a son. So, what the Ahmadi commentator says is a wilful distortion.

The phrase bi-kalimatin used here as a common noun (nakirah-indefinite) shows that Isa is not the only kalimah (or the only "word", in this sense, from Allah) but there are more and he is one of them.

In view of Zakariyya's observation that old age has overtaken him and his wife was barren, it becomes clear that the meaning of anna is "how", because till then they did not have any child at all; therefore, anna cannot be translated as "when" in this verse unless the translator is an Ahmadi (Qadiyani) who has done so on account of his determined policy to oppose miracles tooth and nail. In v 47 of this surah he translates anna as "how". Although in both these verses anna (how) signifies the sense of surprise and indicates the events of the births of Isa and Yahya as miracles effected by the will of Allah, the Ahmadi commentator, in this verse, inserts a wrong word, and in v 47, after translating anna as "how" puts forward lame arguments to deny Maryam's virginity (see v 47 of this surah). The statement that "Allah does whatsoever He wills" settles irrevocably the birth of Yahya as a definite miracle.
"But they had no children, for Elizabeth (Zakariyya's wife) was barren, and both were well on in years. Zachariah said to the angel: How can I be sure of this? I am old and my wife is well on in years. (Luke 1: 7 and 18)
Qad balaghaniyal kibaru (when indeed old age has overtaken me) is not a conjunctive clause. It is an adverbial subordinate to the principal clause. The word wa, used on two occasions in this verse, means "while", not "and", otherwise the answer would not correspond to the question, clearly suggesting surprise. If it was to mean what the Ahmadi commentator thinks, the answer should have been mahma yasha instead of ma yasha, because in answer to a question about time "whatsoever" (the way in which) cannot be used.

In reply to Zakariyya's request for a sign which could let him know that his wife was blessed with a child, the almighty Lord gave him the sign that he would not be able to talk to the people whilst being fully occupied with remembrance and praise and glorification of Allah, day and night. The command was to remember Allah and glorify Him all the time. So it was obvious that a prophet of Allah, while carrying out his Lord's command, would not find time to speak to the people at all, otherwise there was no restriction on uttering words from the mouth. Praise and glorification of Allah takes man into the pure domain of spiritualism through which he overcomes physical disabilities and obstacles, and obtains grace and blessings of Allah. The laws of nature, known to man, can be controlled, modified or altered by the spiritual and divine agency.
It is said that through the science of hypnosis the will of the living being can be controlled, then how can one deny the superior power of the spirit which can effect any change in any natural phenomenon?

The first istafaki (selection of Maryam) refers to her apostolical lineage (in the seed of Ibrahim) and her purification. The second istafaki refers to the fact that she was chosen to become the mother of a prophet without a father, remaining a virgin therefore, up to her time and till the advent of the Holy Prophet, she was the best of the women in the worlds. The Holy Prophet has declared that Bibi Fatimah is the chief of the women in the universe; (because) Bibi Fatimah was the daughter of the superior most prophet of Allah, the seal of prophethood; and the wife of an Imam who alone has the unique distinction of, "Ali's flesh is my flesh, Ali's blood in my blood, and I and he are from the same divine light" (saying of the Holy Prophet), and the mother of eleven holy Imams and through her last son the divine will and justice shall prevail on the earth, and the son of Maryam, Isa, shall follow him. Through v 33 of Al Ahzab, she, Ali and their sons have been thoroughly purified. Therefore, (as the Holy Prophet has declared) Maryam was chosen and her status remained so till his daughter Fatimah was born and thereafter Fatimah is the most blessed, thoroughly purified, and the choicest woman, the best of all the women in the universe from beginning to the end, in all ages, among whom are included Asiyah, Maryam, and Khadijah al Kubrah.
On account of the charges levelled against Maryam by the Jews, her status has been made clear in this verse, but in view of her thorough purification in v 33 of al Ahzab and the declaration of the Holy Prophet, whose spoken words are as absolute and true as the word of Allah in the light of v 2 and 3 of al Najm, no one could, and did not, question the character and the status of Bibi Fatimah; therefore, there was no need to mention her, as no ambiguity or slander ever existed concerning her sublime character. The Holy Prophet's words are enough to establish her as the superior most woman among all the women in the universe for all times.
Muhammad Iqbal, known as the philosopher- poet of the east, accepted as a scholar of great depth and vision by all the Muslims, has given his opinion about Fatimah Zahra in the light of the historical facts mentioned in the books of Islamic history. He says:
Maryam, of one connection with Isa, is venerable; (but) for three relationships Fatimah is revered, respected and glorified; she is the light of the eyes (dearest darling daughter) of the "mercy unto the worlds", the leader of those who have gone by and of those who will come; she is the wife of he who wears the crown of Hal-Ata (Surah al Dahr), the chosen, the divine helper, the fearless overpowering strength of Allah; she is the mother of the axis of the circle of love and devotion, the leader-in-chief of the caravan of lovers and devotees (Hasan and Husayn).
The prophets of Allah did not know the unseen, the unknown, or the unknowable through ordinary means, unless the knowledge of the ghayb (the knowledge of the past, right from the beginning of creation and the events of the future which would take place in this world and in the hereafter) was revealed to them as much as Allah wills; therefore it is stated in this verse that Allah informs the Holy Prophet about the ghayb through revelation to know not only that which was unknowable through ordinary means but also that which was knowable through regular media.

Minal muqarrabin (to be brought nearest to Allah) in the light of v 10 to 14 of al Waqi-ah, are those who are foremost in faith, virtue and receiving rewards-they are numerous among the followers of the prophets prior to the Holy Prophet, but a few among his followers. The few righteous among the followers of the Holy Prophet are only his awsiya, the Ahlalbayt.

This verse makes it clear that Isa shall speak to people from the cradle in the same style and manner, containing the same substance and content, which he will convey to them in his mature age. If it is wrongly presumed that as a child in the cradle he will speak to people like an ordinary child, not conveying the message of Allah, the information Allah gives to Maryam becomes unnecessary, because there is no sense in recording this fact, if it means nothing more than the "ordinary experience of every child who is not dumb". "And in maturity" confirms that what he will speak to people in maturity, which undoubtedly was the revealed message of Allah to be conveyed to mankind as a messenger of Allah, he will speak and make known even as a child in the cradle. It is a miracle. The Ahmadi commentator, avoiding deliberately with malafide the miraculous life of Isa, says that it was an ordinary child's talk, having no sense or meaning. It is clear that either the commentator had no literary education or he deliberately wanted to ridicule the Quran.

The religion of Allah, Islam, emphatically states that Maryam, the mother of Isa, was a virgin. She did not have any kind of sexual relation with any man before or after the birth of Isa and remained a virgin in the strict sense of the word till she departed from this world, as has been mentioned in v 12 of al Tahrim that Maryam, the daughter of Imran, guarded her chastity, and Allah breathed into her His spirit (Isa), and she was an obedient servant of Allah, and she testified the truth of the words of her Lord-she neither lied nor kept anything hidden, because, as Allah says, she was truthful.
Kadhalikallahu yakhlaqu ma yasha (even so Allah creates whatsoever He wills) refers to the process of creation in which the principal active factor is His will or command-Ali ibna abi Talib has said that kun (be) is not a sound or voice which the ear receives and hears, but Allah's word is His work which takes effect at once whenever He wills.
In this sense every creature is the result of His creative word or the manifestation of the imperative word kun (be); therefore, every creature is the word of Allah. The obvious inequality in the creatures is due to the variance in presentation of His notion and attributes by each creature.

Isa, a muta-allim (student), was taught the book and wisdom, the Tawrat and the Injil and sent to the children of Israil as a prophet, whereas the Holy Prophet, endowed with the divine wisdom, and knowledge of all creation, with the Quran, was sent as the last prophet to all those who are born to women (ummi), all the human beings including the Jews, the Christians and those who do not follow any heavenly scripture, to rehearse to them the divine signs, to purify them and to teach them.

It is logical to conclude (after rejecting the concocted insinuation of motivated reporters of the traditions, that the Holy Prophet was illiterate, an unimaginable defamation of a prophet of Allah, but held as true by the majority of his followers, except shias) that when Isa, a follower of the Holy Prophet, sent only to the children of Bani Israil, was taught the book and the wisdom by Allah Himself, the Holy Prophet, who came to guide and warn the whole mankind, in all ages, must have been and, in fact, was thoroughly purified from the dirt of ignorance, and was endowed with divine wisdom, and knew not only to read and write but had total and complete knowledge of the book of creation, the book of legislation and all the holy scriptures revealed to other prophets before him. The Holy Quran, in v 1 to 4 of al Rahman, says that the rahman Himself not only taught the rahmatun lil alamin the entire process of creation but also blessed him with the faculties of appropriating knowledge and giving expression to that which he was taught, with complete and perfect control. Although the ultimate agent for giving shape or character to a thing, in the domains of creation and legislation, is the will of Allah, yet His approved intermediaries are also allowed to take action. Therefore it was neither blasphemy nor transgressing the limits when Isa said: "I will create a bird, out of clay, for you", or "I will heal the blind and the leper", or "I will raise the dead", because he did all that he said by Allah's permission. On the other hand, it is a blasphemy to belie the person on whom Allah has bestowed such powers, or to whom He has delegated His authority to act on His behalf. According to v 69 of al Nahl there is healing for mankind in that which comes out from the abdomen of the bee (honey). So, there is no wonder, if the soil of Karbala, the resting place of His devotee, Imam Husayn, is used to cure and heal many a disease (known as khaki shifa). What has been given to whom by Him can be found out by referring to authentic sources.

According to v 50, Isa had the authority to repeal or amend the laws of Musa, therefore, he cancelled some of the laws of Tawrat, but, in the New Testament, a saying of Isa is reported that: mountains may move but not a word from the Tawrat will be removed. The Quran presents Isa as a law-giver prophet. He asks people to obey him and follow his orders in addition to the testament that they already had. He also asks them to adhere to the right path which implies that adherence is not following a particular legislation but strict compliance with all the laws issued by Allah.
Whoever obeys the laws laid down by the succeeding prophets, in fact, carries out the orders of the preceding prophets, but if one only gives allegiance to the previous prophets and rejects the orders of those prophets who came after, in reality, renounces all the prophets. This applies also to the commandments of Allah. If one obeys Him throughout his life but revolts in the last moments of his life, he will be cursed, as Iblis (Shaytan) was condemned for ever. On the other hand, if one surrenders to Him in obedience and sincerely in the dying hours of his life, his past sins may be forgiven.

Man ansari (who will be my helpers unto Allah?) corresponds to an identical event known as dawat al ashirah. When the verse "And warn your tribe of near relatives" was revealed, the Holy Prophet asked Ali to invite the tribe of his near relatives at the house of Abu Talib. Before the leaders of the Quraysh, like Isa, he said:
"O kinsmen! By Allah, I and I alone can offer you the most precious of gifts, the good of this world and of the hereafter. Allah has commanded me to call you to that which is the best-His worship.
I, therefore, call upon you to come forward and testify to my prophethood. Who among you will help me and join me in my task, and be my brother, my lieutenant, my vicegerent and my successor?"
Ali was the only person who came forward in response to the call of the Holy Prophet. Then and there the Holy Prophet declared:
"Verily Ali is my brother, my vicegerent and my successor. From this day it has been made obligatory upon every one to obey the superior authority of Ali."
(See page 4).
The above event and address have been recorded by a large number of notable scholars and prominent traditionists in their books, for example, Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abu Hatam, Ibn Marduwayh and Abu Na'im, and Bayhaqi, who has recorded it in both of his books, Sunan and Dala'il, and Tha'labi and Tabari in their great commentaries of surah al-Shu'ara'. Tabari has recorded this also in his Tarikh al-Umam wa al-Muluk (i.e. the history of the various people and their rulers), Vol. 2, p. 217, in somewhat different words, and Ibn Athir has recorded this among the traditions universally accepted to be genuine in his Tarikh al Kamil Vol 2, p. 22, under the caption "Allah ordered His messenger to declare his messengership." Abd al-Fida has recorded this event in Vol. 1, p. 116 of his book on history in connection with the account of the person who was the first to embrace Islam, and Abu Jafar al-Iskafi Mu'tazali has recorded it in his book Naqd al-Uthmaniyyah and fully explained its authenticity, as mentioned in Sharh al-Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 3, p. 263, by Ibn Abi Hadid, printed in Egypt. As regards the book Naqd al-Uthmaniyya it is really matchless. The author has thoroughly discussed everything connected with the Prophet's invitation in vol. 3, pp. 257-281, in his comments on the concluding portion of Khutbah al-Qasiah.
Halabi has recorded it in his famous Sirah al-Halabiyah where he has described it in the chapter on the hiding of the Holy Prophet and his companions in the house of Araqam. Please refer to vol. 1, p. 381. The reckless narration of the event and indiscriminate comments thereon by Ibn Taymiyah deserve no attention because of his well-known party spirit, for this event has been recorded even by the socialist writer Muhammad Hasanayn Haykal of Egypt, who has described the event at length in his magazine Al-Siyasah no. 2751, p. 5, col. 2, published on 12 Dhil-Qadah. 1350 A.H. If you refer to no. 2785 of the said magazine, p. 6, col. 4, you will find that he (Mr. Haykal) has recorded this tradition (i.e., the address) on the authority of Muslim's Sahih, Ahmad's Musnad, Abdullah ibn Ahmad's Ziyadat al-Musnad, Ibn Hajar Makki's Jami'al-Fawaid, Ibn Qutaybah's Ayun al-Akhbar, Ahmad ibn Abd Rabbuh's Aqd al-Farid, Umar ibn Bahr al-Hajiz's pamphlet Banu Hashim and Abu Ishaq al-Tha'labi's commentary of the Quran.
In view of the importance and universal fame of this tradition, many European writers (the French, the English and the German, etc.) have mentioned this tradition in their books, and Thomas Carlyle has also mentioned this briefly in his Heroes and Hero Worship.
Besides the above, many notable scholars and traditionists have recorded this tradition in their books with some difference in words but no difference in implication, e.g., Tahawi, Diya Maqdasi in his Mukhtarah, Said ibn Mansur in his Sunan, etc. However, sufficient for our purpose is the tradition recorded by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, who has related the tradition from Ali in his Musnad, vol. 1, pp 111 and 159. He has recorded in Musnad, Vol. 1, beginning of p. 331, another important tradition from Ibn Abbas that enumerates ten such characteristics of Ali which distinguish him from all others; Nasai has also quoted this from Ibn Abbas in his Khasais al Alawiyah (distinguishing qualities of Ali), p. 6; Hakam has recorded it in his Mustadrak, Vol. 3, p. 132, and al-Dhahabi in his Talkhis (abridged edition) of Mustadrak. He has also admitted the genuineness of the tradition. In Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 6, the event has been related at length.
If you will refer to Muntakhabi (selections from) Kanz al-Ummal, which has been printed on the margin of Musnad of Ahmad and peruse the contents of the margins of vol. 5, pp. 41-43, you will find the tradition in its details. This one event of warning to the kinsfolk and the address by the Holy Prophet alone, which has been recorded by almost all the scholars, historians or traditionists, amply prove that the imamat and khilafat were the right of Ali.
What Ali undertook that day, successfully and truly, was carried out through out his life.
In v 52, the devoted disciples of Isa bear witness that they have surrendered themselves to His will. In v 53 they pray for attaining the quality of the witness referred to in v 17 of al Hud, which refers to the Holy Prophet as a clear sign of Allah and to Ali as a witness, a guide and a mercy, from Allah. The Holy Prophet's declarations ("I and Ali are from one and the same divine light" and "Ali is from me and I am from Ali") are based upon this verse and v 61 of this surah, through which Ali has been established as the sole "self" (nafs) of the Holy Prophet. See Sahih Bukhari, chapter "manaqib".

A similar but unsuccessful attempt was made by the hypocrites to kill the Holy Prophet, while he was returning from Tabuk, and also when he was coming back to Madina from Makka, after performing the last Hajj. Hudhayfa, the trusted companion of the Holy Prophet, knew the names of the plotters. Every well-known companion of the Holy Prophet used to ask him if his name was also in the list of plotters.

The incoherent recording of the events of Isa's crucifixion, burial and resurrection in the New Testament, proves that the whole story had been fabricated to suit the doctrines of the Christian church. Paul had distorted the true faith of Isa to accommodate Roman paganism. Their story should be judged in the light of the following analysis:
(1) Those who came to arrest Isa, in the darkness of night, had never seen his face.
(2) It was Judas who, standing beside Isa, identified him.
(3) Judas' features were very much like Isa's.
(4) As the light was very dim, their faces could not be seen clearly.
(5) The soldiers were afraid of the people, who certainly would have started a struggle at any moment and made their task difficult, so they were in a great hurry.
(6) It was Judas who was crucified.
(7) The crucified body was brought down from the cross in the early hours of dawn.
(8) The disciples ran away from the scene and did not witness the burial.
(9) The grave, in which the crucified body was buried, was found empty.
(10) The only witness of the resurrection was Mary Magdalene whose versions, given in the four gospels, differ from each other. In some, she was there when Isa rose from the grave; and in some, when she approached the grave, she was told by another unknown witness that her Lord was raised to heaven.
(11) Isa was seen by the disciples after the resurrection
It is a fact that it was not Isa who was crucified. He was saved. His disciples gave currency to the idea of his crucifixion so that the Jews remained assured of his death, else they would have gone in his pursuit. The Roman soldiers also kept quiet in order to avoid the blame of killing a wrong person and also the certain punishment for not executing Isa. As Sale has observed in his above noted explanation, the early Christians did not believe in Isa's crucifixion.
All the Muslims, in the light of this and other verses of the Quran, do not give any credence to the false story of Isa's crucifixion and resurrection, fabricated by the Christian church.
Tawaffa (to take away), tahar (to purify), raf-a (to raise) and nuzul (to descend) are the four effects of the divine will in connection with Isa, out of which the first three have already taken place and the fourth is expected to happen, before the final resurrection. The religion of Allah shall triumph over all other religions and creeds. The light of truth shall enlighten the world, and a perfect human society shall be established before the world comes to an end. This is His promise. If tawaffa means death, then also there should be no doubt in the mind of a believer about Isa's nuzul because, as said in v 258 to 260 of al Baqarah, Allah can give life to the dead or raise up any dead living being to life. In the opinion of Shaykh Saduq, this explanation is more credible.
If tawaffa means departure from this world without dying, then his nuzul will be re-appearance after his temporary disappearance, similar to Imam Muhammad al Mahdi, who is living on the earth as a necessary link between man and God, while Isa has been raised up unto Allah. So Isa has no jurisdiction in the matters of this world, whereas Imam Mahdi is the sole deputy of Allah to look after and take care of the terrestrial affairs. When both of them shall re-appear Isa shall follow the leadership of Imam al Mahdi.

The process of creation has been discussed in v 6 and 37 of this surah according to which Allah's will is the principal factor in the process of creation. The birth of Isa to a virgin mother, without a male partner, was an immediate effect of His will, manifested to the world as a miracle, just as the birth of Adam took place without the agency of a father and a mother. When He wills a thing to "be", it becomes. Even in the theory of evolution there comes a stage, while backtracking, when one has to accept the fact that a living being must have come into being without the agency of a sexual procedure. Whatever once happened in the process of creation can take place any time, may be once in a great while but not altogether impossible. There are several examples in nature, which are inexplicable through any law known to man. The only explanation, as the Quran points out, is the imperative word of Allah. As has been stated in the commentary of v 6 of this surah, the hand of Allah is visible in the working of the whole universe.
The likeness of Isa with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. Therefore, as the Christian church argues, if Isa was a son of God because he was born without a father, Adam deserved more to be God or son of God as he came into being without a father and a mother .
The creation of Isa has been compared to the creation of Adam, the first human being. There would be no point in comparing Isa to a (universal) man as the Ahmadi commentator conveys has been done in this verse.

In this verse the people (the whole mankind) is addressed through the Holy Prophet.
That which has been said in the preceding verse is the truth. A general principle has been laid down that Allah is the absolute truth. The material aspects of nature, known to us, are unable to explain every thing. The truth which proceeds from the absolute truth should be accepted as true, otherwise the unusual events in the working of creation will lead to confusion and doubt.

(1) When reason and facts failed to convince the opponents, the medium of mubahilah (prayer to curse the liars) had to be used. It was a test of the truthfulness of the persons chosen to establish the truth and carry out the divine mission.
(2) The nearest and the dearest have to be exposed to danger.
(3) The nearest and the dearest of a prophet (who has devoted himself and whatever belonged to him to Allah and has been purified from all likes and dislikes based upon self interest, mundane desires and carnal passions) must naturally be of his class and quality in devotion and purification.
(4) According to v 46 of al Ahzab the Holy Prophet was a summoner unto Allah by His permission; therefore, it was not his choice but Allah's will to summon a certain class of people to invoke the curse of Allah on the liars.
(5) Right from the commencement of his mission to the last moment of his departure from this world, the Holy Prophet called only Ali on all important occasions.
(a) He called the ten year old Ali at the time of making known his mission.
(b) At the time of inviting his tribe to the worship of one Allah, it was the thirteen year old Ali who gave answer to the call of the last prophet of Allah.
(c) At the time of migration from Makka to Madina, he called Ali and asked him to lie down on his bed to face his enemies, who had planned to kill him during that night, and Ali wholeheartedly agreed to give his life to save the messenger of Allah.
(d) It was Ali, who was designated, as his executor of wil1, to return the deposits entrusted by the residents of Makka to the al-amin prophet after the Holy Prophet migrated to Madina.
(e) In the battle of Badr, Ali was asked by him to fight and repulse the hordes of enemy soldiers when many of his companions were quietly watching the fighting from a safe distance.
(f) In the battle of Uhad, when the enemy had an upper hand and the danger to the Holy Prophet's life was imminent, because all his companions had run away from the battlefield and disappeared, it was Ali who stood by the Holy Prophet and brought to naught all the plans of the enemy.
(g) In the battle of Khundaq, Ali was called, as the embodiment of faith to fight against the incarnation of disbelief, Amr bin Abdwud, to win victory for the disheartened Muslims.
(h) In Khaybar, when all the companions of the Holy Prophet tried and failed to subdue the enemy, Ali was called to come to the rescue of the deficient and depressed Muslims and conquer the fort of Khaybar single-handedly.
(i) At the time of going to Tabuk, the Holy Prophet designated Ali, as his vicegerent, to take charge of the affairs in Madina, saying that Ali was to him as Harun was to Musa.
(j) Ali was called to preach the verses of al Barat which contain complete disassociation from idolatry, because only he or the Holy Prophet, according to the command of Allah, were competent to convey them to the people (on account of exact similarity or equality between the two). So Ali went to Makka and relieved Abu Bakr who had earlier been sent to do this job.
Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn, the four thoroughly purified members of the chosen group, were the "selves" of the Holy Prophet, but Hasan and Husayn, the two sons of Ali, as abna-ana (sons), and Fatimah, the wife of Ali, as nisa-ana (women) and Ali himself as anfusana (selves) came out to represent the party of Allah. In Sahih Muslim it is mentioned that at the time of coming out from the canopy, the Holy Prophet looked skyward and said:
"O my Lord, these are my Ahlalbayt."
Even Ibna Hazm, a staunch advocate of the Umayyid point of view, has stated that at the time of mubahilah, only Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn came out with the Holy Prophet to take part in the contest.
The enemies of the Ahlalbayt, true to their policy of ignoring the matchless symbolic glory of the Ahlalbayt, either have not referred to this event at all, or, in order to play down its fundamental role in determining the true faith, have made evasive attempts to give misleading meanings to some of the words of this verse, such as saying that in Arabic literature nisa has not been used for daughters. It is obvious that their knowledge about the Quran is very limited. In v 7 to 11 of al Nisa, nisa has been used to refer to daughters. Moreover, Fatimah, in addition to her relationship to the Holy Prophet as his daughter, was also chosen as the wife of Ali, who is the self or soul of the Holy Prophet, in which case the significance of anfusana becomes more subtle, because no wife of the other constituent of anfusana (the Holy Prophet) was found competent to take part in the spiritual contest. In v 5 of al Tahrim, the almighty Allah says that if the Holy Prophet divorces his wives, the Lord will give him in their stead, wives better than them, which implies that there were women better than his wives, but there was none better than the "pure five", or even equal to them, who could be chosen to become one of the glorious group selected for the mubahilah in spite of the latitude accorded by the plurality permitted by the all-wise Allah. Please see  v 33 of al Ahzab to ascertain that Ummi Salimah and A-isha so much desired to be taken under the blanket but were refused by the Holy Prophet.
If the bat (a flying mammal) does not like the sunlight, never shall the beauty of the sunshine become dim. Likewise, if the enemies of the Ahlalbayt try to distort the facts of history, they shall never be able to tarnish the ever bright source of enlightenment and glory which shall radiate its divinely endowed splendour till eternity.
In spite of the fact that one woman, one man and two boys were chosen, the plural number is used here, because in this holy house, males and females of the class of this divinely chosen group were born to face the challenge of falsehood in the same manner and style. In Karbala, when falsehood incarnate, in its utmost wickedness, challenged the truth from Allah, Imam Husayn, the surviving member of this group, along with the souls, sons, wives and daughters of this holy house, brought down the curse of Allah upon the liars and their followers, and thus truth won an everlasting victory over falsehood.
In the light of Ahzab: 33, Ali Imran: 61 and Tawbah: 119, Ali ibna abi Talib has said:
I am the sidiq al akbar (the greatest truthful). I am the faruq al azam (the greatest distinguisher between truth and falsehood). He who claims any of these titles (other than me) is the greatest liar.
There was no genuine sidiq al akbar among the Holy Prophet's companions (save Ali), otherwise he would have been selected to accompany him at the time of mubahilah.
Ali was ten years old at the commencement of the Holy Prophet's mission and thirteen at the time of dawat al ashira, and on the occasion of mubahilah, Imam Hasan was six and Imam Husayn was five years old, yet the Lord commanded his messenger to select them for His cause and purpose as He had found in these particular children that which He had noticed in Isa, because of which He bestowed prophethood on him and gave him the book and the wisdom when he was but a baby in the cradle. Although, ordinarily, intellectual maturity, which does not develop fully in children, is essential to shoulder any kind of responsibility, there are persons who are exceptions to the common rule of nature, among whom are the chosen individuals of the house of Ibrahim-Musa, Yahya, Isa, Muhammad, Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn.
The word anfusana (plural of nafs) is used here with reference to the Holy Prophet who summons his "selves" for the spiritual contest. Whoever is identical, physically and spiritually, with the Holy Prophet, is his self or soul. No living being, human or celestial, has ever been exalted to this highest distinction save Ali ibna abi Talib. Whenever the Holy Prophet said something about his companions he did not mention the name of Ali. If asked, "What about Ali?" he used to reply: "You asked about the people, you did not ask about my nafs" Once he told Burayda: "O Burayda, do not oppose Ali,
verily, he is of me and I am of him. I and Ali are from the one and the same source, whereas all other people belong to different roots." At the time of sending Ali to preach the first verses of surah al Barat, after cancelling the assignment given to Abu Bakr, the Holy Prophet had told the astonished companions: "I have been commanded by Allah that either I should deliver these verses or he, who is from me and I from him, should be entrusted to recite them to the people." Even Bukhari, who did not want to narrate, as far as possible, any tradition which glorifies Ali, had to helplessly record this event in the chapter of "Manaqib".
As has been said earlier, anfusana also covers Bibi Fatimah (as nisa-ana) and Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn (as abna-ana). Every participant of the contest is the self (or soul) of the Holy Prophet. There are several authentic traditions according to which the Holy Prophet had said:
Fatimah is from me. Whoever annoys her annoys me, or provokes her, provokes me. She is the chief of the women of the worlds. Husayn is of me and I am of Husayn. Hasan and Husayn are the (divinely commissioned) Imams, be they active or silent.
They have been clearly described by the Quran and the Holy Prophet as the people of the house- Ahlalbayt. They have been exalted to the highest distinction, beyond the reach of any living being human or celestial.
According to some commentators, the term sahabi (a companion who had heard and saw the Holy Prophet) does not include minors. It is immaterial whether the term sahabi is applicable to Hasan and Husayn or not because they are the people of the house (Ahlalbayt) whose glory and excellence, as made known through ayah al tat-hir and ayah al mubahilah (and other verses of the Quran), are so exalted and sublime, that no sahabi can ever dream of achieving a fraction of the same. A true sahabi is he who loves them, and the degree of his love and attachment with the Ahlalbayt defines his nearness to Allah and the Holy Prophet. All sorts of people, good and bad, sincere and hypocritical, were among the companions of the Holy Prophet.

The Holy Prophet, while preaching the truth, adhered to the policy of peace and rational adjustment with the non-Muslims. The original scriptures of the Jews and the Christians also preached monotheism. see al Baqarah: 255. Even the corrupted editions of the Old and the New Testaments contain the truth in Exodus 20: l to 4; Deut 6: 4; Isaiah 42: 8, 44: 6-45: 5, 18, 21, 22-48: 12; (1) Corinthians 8: 4, 6; Ephesians 4: 5, 6. The worship of human-gods crept into their religion when they began to consider their rabbis and monks and Isa to be as gods, apart from Allah (see Tawbah: 30 and 31). Therefore, in this verse, the Jews and the Christians are invited to agree to worship none save Allah and not to associate anything with Him, which is a common doctrine between them and the Muslims. If they do not agree, the Muslims have been asked not to accommodate them in any way, since their false faith could contaminate the pure monotheism that the Muslims believe in and hold dear to their hearts.
From the beginning of this chapter the Quran refers to the unity of God (tawhid), not only as the creator but also as the absolute sovereign of all that has been created by Him (and everything has been created by Him), unto whose legislative will all have to submit. Every one must obey Him, revere Him, and worship Him.
All the created beings, on the earth and in the heavens and in between them (may be some of them are superior to others) are His slaves, servants and subordinates. To associate any thing, in any way, as a separate authority, with Him is polytheism (shirk). "There is no god save Allah" is the divine declaration. All the followers of the heavenly scriptures have been commanded, after giving undeniable proofs that all the prophets including Musa and Isa were the created beings, to base their views and doctrines on this fundamental principle. The views and the theories laid down by any individual or by a group of individuals, concerning the truth, have no value at all. Adherence to such views and doctrines, replacing the divine declarations, means choosing others as an authority besides Allah. "The religion with Allah is Islam" (see v 19 of this surah) is the final divine announcement, after which there is no room for the controversies which have created many schools of thought, contradictory and hostile to each other, among the followers of the prophets. If all the followers of the prophets had kept intact the revealed books, and held fast to the true teachings of the messengers of Allah, instead of lending ear to the conjectural theorising of the rabbis and the priests, there would have not been so many dissenting divisions.
Some followers of the Holy Prophet also ignored the teachings of the Quran and the declaration of the Holy Prophet regarding his Ahlalbayt and have gone astray, because they have turned to others, instead of the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt, for the truth, although the truth had been made clear by the Holy Prophet (see Ma-idah: 67). To rely on others and ignore the messenger of Allah is to obey a ghayrallah (other than Allah), which is shirk. Here it must be kept in mind that to pay respect, love, or adore those who, in obedience and submission to Allah, are acclaimed as models or ideals, is in itself obedience and submission to Allah. Remembrance or commemoration of such godly servants of Allah serves the purpose of service and devotion to Allah, as has been stated in v 48 and 49 of al Sad. The surest way to worship and obey Allah is to follow the teachings and directions given by His prophets, messengers, and their appointed successors (please refer to v 69 and 80 of al Nisa). But if they are held in esteem more or less than that which Allah has determined for them, or some other individuals are given the same status without any divine declaration, then it is like taking others to be gods apart from Allah (Tawbah: 3)

Judaism and Christianity were instituted after the revelation of the Tawrah and the Injil to Musa and Isa respectively, whereas, according to the Quran, the religion of Allah, Islam, was preached and practised by all His prophets from Adam to Muhammad. From the beginning of the world to its end, Islam (total submission to the will of Allah) remains to be the only religion of Allah. Therefore to argue whether Ibrahim was a Jew or a Christian is a meaningless dispute between the two religions conjured out after centuries and centuries of Ibrahim's time. According to Baqarah: 128 and Hajj: 78. Ibrahim and his descendants were Muslims. Islam is the universal religion. All His prophets and their true followers were Muslims.

The books of traditions and theology written under the patronage of the Muslim rulers (usurpers of the rights of the Ahlalbayt) also follow the above noted strategy to lower the glorious merits of the Ahlalbayt in the sight of unwary people. They narrate some sayings of the Holy Prophet praising the Ahlalbayt to first establish their impartiality, then immediately add spurious traditions to belittle the merit they had reported. Many a so-called impartial orientalist also praises Islam to conceal the venom which is injected shrewdly within the lines.

The true grammatical construction is to take the sentence "Do not believe in any but those who follow your religion" as the supplementary to the sentence of the preceding v 72 (from "believe in" to "may return.)" The supplementary clause makes known that the doctrine followed by the Jews is false, therefore, such tricks would not avail anything. They who receive guidance, receive it from Allah; none is able to mislead them. He guides whom He wills to the right faith (as He has given guidance to the people of the book) and also establishes His rightly guided chosen representatives therein so that they can argue against the people of the book before the Lord.

Man yasha-Some commentators infer that Allah's blessings are bestowed without taking merits into consideration, but, although His will is not at all restricted by any condition, it cannot be denied that His wisdom and justice, which permeate His will, do not let arbitrariness prevail.

Allah had made some of the prophets to excel others (Baqarah: 253), but all of them were the obedient servants of Allah because they were created beings, subordinate to His will and command. People are advised to put into practice the divine commands mentioned in the book which the prophets of Allah used to preach, and reflect the lessons they taught, in letter and spirit, in their deeds.
That which has been said in these two verses is fully incorporated in Islam, submission to the will of Allah, so it is a warning to the followers of the Holy Prophet also.

Mithaq (covenant) in this verse refers to an individual's accountability for his actions. It is argued by some commentators that wherever mithaq is used in the Quran reference is made to the era prior to the existence of man in general and the prophets in particular. As there is no possibility of retaining any kind of conscious state prior to the physical birth of man, this assumption will be discussed when ruh (soul) and nafs (self) are dealt with.
Whatever is the grammatical implication (whether the phrase lima or lama is relative or conditional) the meaning remains as under:
Allah had made a covenant with each of His prophets, as an individual and as the leader of his respective followers (saying)-that which I have given you of the book and wisdom, (and) when a prophet will come to you confirming that which is with you, you shall surely believe in him and help him. All the prophets accepted the conditions of the covenant and promised and witnessed that their followers will carry out the terms of the covenant. This promise was fulfilled by every prophet concerning his succeeding prophet (and every succeeding prophet confirmed his predecessor), so all the prophets and their followers have to believe in the last prophet and help him. A true follower of Musa should fulfil the covenant Musa made with his Lord by believing in Isa; likewise a true follower of Isa should fulfil the covenant Isa made with his Lord by believing in Muhammad. If the Jews and the Christians do not believe in the last prophet of Allah, they render the covenant, Musa and Isa made with the Lord of worlds, null and void. They will be punished for breaking the covenant, not Musa and Isa, who fulfilled their promise in letter and spirit. Please see  al Ma-idah: 67 for the last covenant Allah took from the Muslims through the Holy Prophet about the wilayah (authority) of Ali ibna abi Talib at Ghadir Khum. It was the last divine guidance made available to man through the grace of the merciful Lord, so that an Imam after Imam, in the progeny of Ali, should guide mankind in every age till the day of resurrection.
Every human being perceives his coming into the conscious state from an insensitive condition through the agency of an active will, dominating him and his environment, which stimulates natural submission. In these verses (preceding and succeeding) the Quran introduces the universal religion (based upon reason and facts) prescribed for mankind which not only awakens positive response but also demolishes the myths fabricated by the Jews, the Christians and the pagans.

Islam is a universal religion approved by Allah. The celestial as well as the terrestrial beings (all beings) are submissive to Allah. There is no one in the heavens and the earth but comes before Him
in all obedience (Maryam: 93). No event in the universe can take place without His creative will. Every living being, in order to please the absolute authority, consciously or subconsciously, follow His legislative will. "Willingly or unwillingly" refers to the conscious or subconscious submission to the will of Allah. The Holy Prophet developed this inherent and natural tendency to mindful awareness. Any religion other than Islam (complete submission to the absolute sovereignty of Allah) shall not be accepted by Him.

Tawba means "return penitently to God" with reference to the creature, and "admit the penitent to God's mercy" with reference to the creator Lord; just as salat (with reference to the creature) means bending before the creator Lord to express wants and needs for obtaining fulfilment, and (with reference to the creator Lord) turning towards the supplicant creature to give that which he deserves.
He who does not carry out Allah's command, disobeys Him. It is a sin which earns punishment. Although there are various degrees of disobedience, minor sins lead to major sins. Infidelity (denial of Allah's absolute sovereignty) is the worst sin. Punishment of each sin differs according to its degree. "Verily Allah forgives all sins" (Zumar: 53). Of whatever degree the sin is, if the sinner turns repentantly to Allah, sincerely seeking to amend his ways in future, Allah will admit him to His mercy. Tawba is a cleansing procedure to remove ignorance and obstinacy from the heart and the mind and to wipe out the dirt of theoretical and practical "deviation from the right path".
Allah may admit the sinner to His mercy at any time before the punishment comes upon him when no one will come for his help (Zumar: 54); or He may admit the sinner to His mercy if he does evil in ignorance (and) then turn quickly (in repentance) to Allah (Nisa: 17). But repentance is not (profitable) for those who do ill deeds until, when death comes to one of them (Nisa: 18), and shall not benefit them their faith when they see His punishment (Mu-min: 85). The doors of repentance are open till the agony of death overcomes the body.
In Yunus: 98, the removal of punishment at the last moment shows that sincere repentance is effective, but Mu-min: 85 makes it clear that repentance to avoid punishment brings no result. Imam Ali bin Muhammad al Naqi had quoted this verse to give his decision when Mutawakkil referred the case of a Jew who committed adultery with a Muslim woman and recited kalimah as soon as he was brought in the court of the ruler. The jurists of the court had wrongly advised him to acquit the Jew on the basis of a tradition which states that when a man becomes a Muslim his past is separated from him. But as, in this case, the Jew accepted Islam to avoid punishment, therefore the holy Imam judged him guilty.

The rebellious heart and the indifferent attitude toward Allah's laws and commandments, of a disbeliever, render him liable for an everlasting painful punishment, and from him shall not be accepted an earthful of gold if he were to give it in alms in this world to ransom himself from punishment in the hereafter. The decree of punishment for him is final and definite. No amount of charity will be of any use to alleviate the deserved punishment from Allah.

Some passages of the Bible give the impression that the doors of the heavenly kingdom are closed for the rich. It is not true. If a man, be he poor or rich, willingly submits to Allah and spends "that which he loves" in the service of Allah, he becomes entitled to the everlasting bliss of the life of the hereafter.
The Holy Prophet has said:
The wealthy who does not wait to spend in the way of Allah until a needy comes to his door but goes to the abode of the poor to mitigate his suffering is the true God-fearing pious.

The Jews in the Holy Prophet's time were accusing the Muslims of taking certain foods which, they said, had been unlawful since the days of Ibrahim. The Quran denies the charge, and puts the Jews to silence by a reference to their own scripture, the Tawrat. The original law of Musa contained the same prohibitions and permissions, concerning eatables, prescribed by Islam, but the Jews had corrupted the book revealed to Musa and replaced it with fanciful customs, acquired paganish points of view and introduced them in their faith over the years.
Bahimatul an-am (four-footed animals such as goats, sheep, oxen and camels and those like them who eat grass and vegetation) are allowed (Ma-idah: 1) except a few of them (the clawed flesh-eating animals like tigers, lions, cats, dogs- known as Siba'), eating of which is not allowed. See books of fiqh. According to An-am: 142 to 146 certain parts of the lawful animals were prohibited as a punishment because of the perverse and rebellious attitude of the Jews, otherwise none of the animals which eat grass or vegetation were forbidden even in the law of Musa, but due to the introduction of folklore in their religion, the Jews wrongly presumed that camel and its milk were the forbidden items since the days of Ibrahim. This verse exposes their ignorance.
Islam (submission to Allah's will and command) was the religion of Ibrahim. The Tawrat and the Injil also contained the fundamentals of the true religion of Allah which purify the mind and the body in a practical and harmonious way. The harshness of Judaism and leniency of Christianity are far from the universal truth with reference to actuality.

The great antiquity of this house is undisputed. It had been throughout the ages, even before Ibrahim, the object of the greatest veneration
It is reported on the authority of the Ahlalbayt that the valley of Makka was the first part of the earth which emerged above the surface of the water and cooled down when the heavens and the earth (an integrated mass) were split by Allah's command (Anbiya: 30, 31), in support of which there are a number of geological evidences. Many a non-Muslim scholar agrees that this holy place, dedicated to the worship of the Lord of the lords, was not only known to the people of Semitic origin but also to the ancient inhabitants of India according to the references available in pre-Sanskrit literature. Ibrahim's prayer in Ibrahim : 37 confirms its antiquity. In Baqarah: 125 and 129, it is implied that Allah commanded Ibrahim to renew its foundations, purify it and establish it as a place of worship of the almighty Lord, and settle down there along with his family. The family of Ismail was chosen as the first human family to inhabit this land with the sole purpose of dedicating themselves wholly to the worship and the service of the Lord of the worlds. The family of Ismail was the first to be called "the people of the house" (Ahlalbayt), then Ishaq  and his mother (Hud: 73) and after that Musa and his mother (Qasas: 12) were referred to as Ahlalbayt. The term Ahlalbayt has been used for the descendants of Ibrahim (the lineage of Ibrahim through Ishaq  was cut off after Isa). Actually al-bayt (the house) refers to the house of Allah, and the descendants of Ismail have been referred to as Ahlalbayt because they had devoted themselves, without any deviation, gap or drift, to the service of Allah and His house. They were the founders and the protectors of the house of Allah, and it is to their lineage references have been made in v 36 and 37 of al Nur.
The place they founded and established for the remembrance of Allah has been described as a blessed, sacred sanctuary, and a guidance unto the worlds, because they devoted their lives to its service and attracted mankind to its ultimate purpose through their ideal virtues and righteousness. The house and the people of the house are inseparable. Their house, wherever it may be, is the house of Allah. As they cannot be separated from the Quran (hadith al thaqalayn) the house of Allah can never be without their presence. The house is a guidance if the people of the house are identified and kept in view. The house is a sanctuary and a blessing if one enters it by the permission and pleasure of the Ahlalbayt, described as safinatul Nuh.

(1) "Who can afford" means ability with ease concerning wealth, health and security. In the case of any adverse condition this ordinance is not applicable.
(2) Man kafara (whosoever denies) shows the importance of the pilgrimage. As the Holy Prophet has said "the able but wilful non-performer" becomes an infidel. It is a positive test of the submission to Allah's will and a sure remedy to cure the evil disease of egotism.

Whenever the Quran addresses the people of the book to reproach them for their mischievous deviation from the right path, shown by all the scriptures, it should not be confined to those Jews and Christians who opposed Islam and the Holy Prophet in his time, but as Imam Jafar al Sadiq has pointed out, it includes all the people of the book in post-Islamic era and also all those who claim their religions to be divinely revealed, in all ages, till the day of resurrection. The holy Ahlalbayt have said that the pagans of Arabia and the trans-caspian sea are excluded from the "people of the book", as their doctrines were not based upon the revealed word of Allah.
At all events the Muslims are not kept out from the application of the censure wherever notified in the Quran. There are instances of mischievous deviation from the right path, denial of the divine signs, creation of obstacles in the path of Allah, and attempts to twist the words of Allah and His Holy Prophet to serve selfish ends, which gave rise to sectarianism in the early stages.
The Holy Prophet has said:
You will go back to infidelity after me when discord and strife, among you, will divide you.

Verses 101 to 115 contain the fundamental directions essential for a peaceful, just and pious human society. In addition to man-God relationship, the religion of Allah, Islam, also lays down the principles which direct, develop and sustain interrelations between the human beings as well as their true position in the universe. Islam not only establishes peace, unity and harmony between man and man but also effects co-ordination between mankind, as a part, and the universe, as a whole, viewed in a perspective beyond the limitation of time and space. Many attempts had been made, and the quest continues, to unite mankind to usher in an era of peace and harmony, but each venture has created new divisions. Unless man agrees not to exercise his will and choice in preference to the common good of the society universal brotherhood cannot be established. He must sacrifice his will and choice by curtailing his independence in the interest of the common good, which means submission of his will. The social, economic and political sciences deal with the question as to in whose interest (family, community, race or country) man should sacrifice his independence, and to whose authority he should submit!? Islam puts the universal interest above the individual interest, and makes it clear that there is no authority save the authority of the almighty Allah to which every individual must submit. Keeping this in view the Quran refers to the establishment of an institution which not only would call people to Allah (the absolute goodness) but also exercise authority over mankind to guide them to that which is approved by the human conscience as well as by the divine sanction; and would prevent them from doing that which is unprofitable and harmful, an evil rejected by the human conscience as well as forbidden by the divine decree v 104 says that the authority to enjoin the right (amr bil ma-ruf) and forbid the wrong (nahya anil munkar) entails conditions in which all the members of the society cannot share. They can assist the divinely established authority in the duty of enjoining good and forbidding evil, because only those who know the ultimate and the absolute good have been found competent and qualified to be chosen for this assignment. The most essential prerequisite to shoulder this responsibility is to be in a state of perfect awareness for doing good and avoiding evil so that there is no need to be guided by any one to do ma-ruf and abstain from munkar.
In v 104 ummat means a-imma, because ummat is derived from amm (meaning) to intend, to lead, to give an example to others, or to command. In the sense of tending or intending it becomes the "way" intended to or to move on (tariq), or imam, the person intended to be followed, or mamun, the person who intends to follow-to follow certain persons or principles. The word ummat has been used in all these senses in the verses of the Quran. In v 104 and 113 of Ali Imran and v 128 and 143 of al Baqarah the context shows that ummat stands for an imam, who exercises authority, not for mamun.
Verses 101 to 103 make it clear that once a man becomes a Muslim (submits to the absolute sovereignty of Allah) he shall not follow any other path except the guidance revealed through the Quran and made known by the Holy Prophet, which, in fact, is the substance of the surah Ali Imran. Even a slightest deviation from this path, by relying on personal discretion in order to make amendment in the guidance provided by Allah and His Prophet, has been declared as going back to the days of ignorance (partisanship and sectarianism) or falling into the abyss of eternal damnation.
He who holds fast to the rope of Allah (adheres to His book, His prophet and his Ahlalbayt) is described as orthodox (sound and upright in belief and doctrine, not dogmatic or irrational), and he who relies on his own judgement or on the conjectural or arbitrary discretion of those who have not been endowed by the divine wisdom, nor ever declared by the Holy Prophet as the inheritors of his wisdom, is described as heterodox. In v 153 of al An-am Allah says that only His path is right, follow it, and do not follow other ways, because that will deviate you from His path and lead to heresy and heterodoxy. Some early commentators wrongly presumed that v 16 of al Taghabun abrogates the contents of v 103 of Ali Imran. A proper study of these verses shows that one supports the other. Please see  Taghabun: 16. It is said that the occasion for the revelation of v 103 was a dispute, took place between the two groups of ansars, on the instigation of a Jew. Whatever be the cause "the enjoining good and forbidding evil" by a select group, as said in v 104 is the basis of the social structure of the human society.
The establishment of an institution to save mankind from dissension and discord, which would lead to total perdition, has been justified in v 104 to 108. The purpose in view is to promote universal justice and harmony and safeguard the interests of all creation, on the earth, in the heavens and in between them. To control and operate this institution suitable persons are chosen by Allah Himself on merit. Human choice or discretion has no place.
And your Lord creates what He wills, and (also) chooses. They (the created beings) have never any choice.
(Qasas: 68)
The inseparable second person masculine gender pronoun in v 104, refers to a particular group of men, purposefully brought forth from the fold of His providence, to guide mankind. Please see  v 104 and 110 for identifying those who have the competency, efficiency and authority to enjoin good and forbid evil.
Once Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq asked a scholar whether he thought the pronoun tum in kuntum (in v 110 of Ali Imran) referred to the Muslims in general? "Yes" was his reply.
"It means you, who killed the grandson of the Holy Prophet and tortured his family in captivity, are the best people brought forth by Allah to guide and benefit the mankind". the Imam said.
"No. It cannot be!" The scholar exclaimed. "Behold! It refers only to those who are competent to lead mankind to truth", the Imam advised him.
Therefore if it is inferred that waltakun min kum gives permission to the Muslims to elect, appoint or nominate a person or a group of persons to guide or lead people, the implication would be a far-fetched heretical innovation, because the verse only points out to the necessity of such an institution, just as the necessity of the prophets of Allah to convey His message of guidance to the people, but does not give permission to the people (in either case) to elect, nominate or appoint the prophets or those who enjoin good and forbid evil. v 110 asserts that such a group (from the descendants of Ibrahim) has been brought forth for the guidance of mankind. Al Baqarah: 124, 128, 143 and al Hajj: 77 and 78 refer to those descendants of Ibrahim who have been chosen to inherit the book, the wisdom and the great kingdom, and whose obedience has been enjoined on mankind. Only these are they who are authorised to exercise amr bil ma-ruf and nahya anil munkar. Those who follow them in letter and spirit and are thoroughly well-versed in their knowledge and wisdom can work as their subordinates. v 113 and 114 contain the qualities the above noted select group of man possess to the point of highest perfection. v 165 of al-An-am says that it is Allah who has made the believers successors in the earth but has raised some of them over others in degrees, therefore all the believers are not equal. Those who are lower in degree should function as the subordinates of those who occupy the higher grade, otherwise there will be no harmony and order in the system. Having failed to understand the true meanings of these verses many Muslim scholars have suggested a chaotic and inconsistent form of Islamic government because of which the Muslim society has been, so far, administered by despots, tyrants and usurpers.

Rabita means to participate in the garrisoning of the frontiers. This was a duty imposed by the Holy Prophet. It could be performed by turns-the minimum period is 3 days, and the maximum is 40 days.

In these two verses the issue of distribution of wealth, left by the deceased, has been precisely settled, taking into consideration the interest of every individual related by blood. In view of al-Anfal: 75 and al-Ahzab: 6, the standard principle is to prefer those who are related by blood; and among such relatives the closer prevents the more remote in the chain of relation, and lineage is more eligible than the distant kinship; and among the distant kinship those closer to the lineage restrict the less-connected; and those who are paternally and maternally related are preferred over those who are either only paternally related Or only maternally related. (For details refer to fiqh).

From Adam to Muhammad the right path unto Allah remained the same, so the tendency of man to rebel against the divine authority also did not change.
The Holy Prophet said:
"You will continue to walk on the path of earlier people of the book. If they had crept into the hole of a lizard, you will also do as they did."

The punishment announced in this verse indicates the importance Islam gives to honesty and fairplay in trade and commerce. The breach of the law of property and murder are grave crimes, severely punishable; and whoso denies its validity is an infidel.

The words Jibt and taghut refer to any ungodly authority which claims inspiration, intuition or special communion with the unseen. This also applies to any temporal authority without the divine sanction.

According to this verse the descendants of Ibrahim, through Ismail, have been given the book and the wisdom and the authority to guide and lead mankind, because they are foremost in total submission to Allah. Mankind has been enjoined to follow and obey them, even if they do not hold any defacto power, which the descendants of Ismail had for a very brief period in the times of the Holy Prophet and Ali ibn abi Talib. If authority means defacto temporal power, then there is no room for dividing the people into believers and unbelievers in v 55.

Those who disbelieve Allah's signs shall be cast into fire, and when their skin (jild) is burnt up, then Allah shall give them a new skin so that they may go on tasting the agony of punishment. The continuous torment or comfort will be physical as well as spiritual. The outer structure of the body communicates the feelings of pain or pleasure to the soul, and as the cognitive self is not changed, the renewed outer structure, though had not committed the sin, yet will be used to convey pain or pleasure to the unchangeable soul. None of the senses will ever be destroyed but will be made sharper to taste pain or pleasure. Refer to al-Qaf: 20 to 22. This verse refers to the continuity of a process, therefore, it negates the theory of transmigration of the soul-return of the departed soul to another body which has a soul of its own.

Taghut, in this verse, means a devil in human form. According to the Ahlalbayt, taghut invariably refers to any unauthorised claimant of power whom men may obey and follow. see  al-Baqarah: 256.

"What Allah has sent down to the messenger" means the Quran.
This verse refers to those who submit to the opinions of others in the matters of religion instead of obtaining guidance from the Quran and the teachings of the Holy Prophet. For example to rely on ijma (opinion of the unauthorised persons) to settle a religious issue, which is described to be the method of the hypocrites.

It refers to those who, by nature hypocrites, introduce unwarranted reforms and innovations, contrary to the teachings of the Quran and the Holy Prophet, to accommodate non-Islamic theories; and when evil consequences confront them, they say that it was done to bring good and amity.

Unquestioning obedience and devotion to the Holy Prophet has been again ordained in this verse, as done in the preceding verse.
Just like the Jews, the followers of the Holy Prophet used to back out of the battles whenever commanded to lay down their lives and go forth from their homes. The battles of Badr, Uhad and Khandaq bear testimony to this fact. For details refer to Tabari and other historians. The majority of the companions failed to submit to the will of Allah.
Obedience to the Holy Prophet is not restricted to any people or age but its application is universal, till the end of this world.
Verse 159 of Ali Imran says that the Holy Prophet had been gentle with the fresh converts who were guilty of disobedience and indiscipline at Uhad, because being weak in faith they might have gone back to infidelity.
In the end, it makes the Holy Prophet's authority final and decisive- "and when you have resolved (come to your own decision) put your trust in Allah".
As far as the "consultation" is concerned the Holy Prophet used to hear even Abdullah bin Obay whenever he came to give him his advice (before the battle of Uhad he advised the Holy Prophet not to go to Uhad but wait in Madina to fight against the Quraysh).

In v 40 of al-Naml, through the grace of Allah (bestowed on a person who had a partial knowledge of the book) the queen of Shiba was brought before Sulayman in the twinkling of an eye. It is therefore logical to state that as Allah has bestowed (all) His grace on the Holy Prophet (the complete knowledge of the whole book), he had the ability and power to effect extraordinary events (miracles) whenever he wanted to do so. Besides the Holy Prophet, in the light of al-Hud: 17 and al-Rad: 43, and Allah's injunction for first recitation of surah Bara-at before the infidels of Makka by the Holy Prophet himself or by one who is from the Holy Prophet, Ali ibn abi Talib is the person who had the complete knowledge of the book, therefore he is also known as mazhar al-aja-ib. The "Imaman wa rahmatan (guide and mercy)" and "the witness between the Holy Prophet and the people is he who has the knowledge of the book" is Imam Ali (see al-Hud : 17 and al-Rad 43 for authentic references).

Please see  al-Fatihah: 5 pertaining to "action and reaction".
Good and evil, blessings and punishment, are from Allah, but no distress afflicts a man unless he earns it by his own mistakes or blunders. Like bounties and blessings, misfortune also comes from the Lord but is earned by man through his own wrongdoing.
After the battle of Uhad the hypocrites held the Holy Prophet responsible for the fiasco which in fact was the result of not obeying his orders and running away from the battlefield. lt. was a misfortune they themselves caused to happen. To hold the Holy Prophet responsible for any thing means to hold Allah responsible.
The Holy Prophet was sent to the whole mankind as a messenger for all times. Also refer to al-Araf: 158; al-Anbiya.: 107; Saba: 28.
Matthew 10: 5, 6; and 15: 22 to 26 confirm that Isa was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israil.

Obedience to the Holy Prophet has been declared as obedience to Allah, therefore, it must be absolute and unconditional. see  v 59 and 64 to 69 of this surah and judge the statement of the companion who refused to bring the pen and paper on the pretext that the old man was in a delirium and the book of Allah was sufficient for the Muslims.
In the light of "nor does he speak of his own desire (Najm: 3)", if any event, contrary to this divine declaration, is stated in Sahihs or Musnads or Tafsirs of the Muslim scholars, it should be rejected outright.

Fitna, in this verse, means war.
Ya-manukum, in my opinion, means giving assurance of security (not desiring it), as was the policy of the hypocrites.

If ma kana is translated as "unlawful" then the following exception (by mischance) is cut off, not included in its antecedent, therefore, this clause has been translated as in v 60 of al-Naml, because the exception remains real; and the expression becomes more emphatic.

This verse supports the meaning of wa ma kana li-muminin explained in the preceding verse-the killer of a believer cannot be a mumin.
This verse contains the law for the killer of a believer. If the punishment for the murder of an ordinary believer is eternal damnation, what will be the fate of the killers of the Ahlalbayt?

A contingent of the Muslim soldiers, appointed by the Holy Prophet, was passing through a field in which a shepherd was tending his sheep. Being a new convert to Islam, as soon as he saw the soldiers, he said, "Assalamu alaykum" but Usman bin Zayd killed him and took possession of his herd. In this verse Allah warns the Muslims to be discreet and careful when a person greets them in peace (says assalamu alaykum) and not to say: "you are not a believer', in order to usurp the gains of earthly life.
Immediately after the departure of the Holy Prophet from this world, Khalid bin Walid, the commander of the Muslim army, mercilessly butchered a whole tribe of devout Muslims when he was sent to negotiate with Malik ibn Nuwayra. After killing Malik, Khalid bin Walid raped his widow and then killed her also. After that it became a routine for the Muslim rulers and commanders to kill, loot and plunder the Muslim communities for worldly gains.

Darajat is not a second object of faddalallah, but is in an adverbial position specifying the distinction in rank or degree, otherwise it would not be consistent with the objective ajran azima in the end of v 95.

The holy Imams of the Ahlalbayt have pointed out that this principle is also applicable to the followers of other religions whose mental capacity, by nature, is too weak to grasp the truth of Islam, or unfavourable circumstances, beyond their control, keep them in darkness, provided they do good and do not wilfully make mischief in the land.

According to the holy Imams of the Ahlalbayt v 95 to 100 (pertaining to hijrat) not only deal with physical migration but also signify the spiritual stride one takes to reject the cognitive self (I or ego) so as to absorb oneself into the universal self, like the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt, who alone can guide such a journey.
Whether there is gain or not in this act but attachment with the spiritual leaders to follow into their footsteps, for the sake of Allah, brings complete peace of mind to the "emigre" and makes the material loss insignificant.

Laysa alaykum junah or la junaha (used in several verses of the Quran) signifies the negation of obligation, but the Holy Prophet had acted as if it was an obligation, as per v 158 of al-Baqarah. So salatul khawf and salatul qasr must be prayed in its curtailed form.
The conditional clause (if you fear) pertains to the form of prayer to be offered when there is imminent danger of an enemy attack, because the first part of the verse has already dealt with the form of prayer prescribed for a traveller. It must also be noted that the conditional clause does not restrict the order (to curtail prayer) to the circumstances of fear, because there was "fear" at that time at all hours. It is like the phrase in v 23 of this surah which does not restrict the prohibition.

Bashir, Mubashshir and Bashr, the sons of Ta-ma of Ubayraq tribe, had stolen some items from the house of the uncle of Qatada, and concealed them in the house of a Jew. When the theft was detected they put the blame on the Jew. Although the Jews were actively hostile to the Holy Prophet, he upheld the cause of justice, acquitted the accused Jew, and announced the three Muslim brothers guilty of theft. Justice has to be strictly applied whether the crime is committed by a friend or a foe. It was a time when every individual was very important for the small community of the Muslims. The tribe of Ubayraq was a large clan. Yet the Holy Prophet put justice above the exigencies of diplomacy.
The plural pronoun in v 109 makes it clear that in v 106 the Muslims have been asked, through the Holy Prophet, to beg forgiveness of Allah for expecting favouritism from the Holy Prophet. v 108 refers to the men of the tribe of Ubayraq who went to the Holy Prophet to plead for the offenders. v 107 clearly lays down the principle that there should be no pleading for those who deceive their own selves, because Allah does not love the treacherous and the iniquitous. People may support such offenders in this world but on the day of judgement no one will be able to plead for them. They will burn in hell for ever.
Many Muslims respect Yazid (and despots like him) as the rightful caliph (khalifatullah) although he was a Shaytan in human form, who mercilessly killed and destroyed the beloved children of the Holy Prophet. His supporters argue that the Holy Prophet may ask Allah's forgiveness for him and the despots like him. v 6 of al-Munafiqun says:
"Whether you ask forgiveness for them or do not ask, it is all the same; Allah will not forgive them."
The verdict of Allah is clear. To imagine that the tyrants will be pardoned, inspite of the expressed decree of the almighty Lord, is the worst type of hypocrisy.
If man turns to Allah and remembers Him in any condition of fear, shame or hope, mindful of eternal joy and pain, it develops an inner preventive force to combat the urge and tendency to commit individual or collective crimes. v 110 and 11 I say that the door of repentance, in order to seek forgiveness, is open for those who hurt their own selves, not others. He who earns the wages of sin does so for himself. No one shall bear the burden of another. v 112 refers to the offenders of Ubayraq tribe and lays down the principle that he who commits a mistake or iniquity (even if Muslim) and ascribes it to one who is innocent (even if non-Muslim) is guilty of calumny and brazen sin.
Verse 113 refers to the subterfuge the people of Ubayraq employed to mislead the Holy Prophet. The "book and wisdom" was with the Holy Prophet at all times. There is no interval of time in His giving existence to the Holy Prophet and bestowing the "book and wisdom" on him. v 2 of al-Najm and v 7 of al-Duha confirm it.
In Najm: 7 the fa implies that there is no lapse of time between finding and guiding a being.
Verse 114 refers to the event mentioned in v 105. The hypocrites in their counsels mostly talked in whispers because they knew that they were supporting falsehood; and the faithful openly talked of charity and goodness in their gatherings.

This verse clearly says that a true believer neither can oppose the Holy Prophet (his judgements, decisions and instructions) nor differ, deviate or depart from his teachings and commands. He has to obey and follow him in every walk of life, like those believers who are closely attached with him and whose way of life has become just like his way of life. see  v 65 of this surah.
If ijma means the conduct of the majority of Muslims which may have no connection with the teachings and commands of the Holy Prophet, then its introduction and application shall take them to hell.

Inatha (females) refers to the historical motive of idolatry. In primitive ages man could not understand any productive action except the sexual relationship. The pagans thought that their idols were the daughters of God. The cult of goddesses had been almost universal, partly through the association of maternity. The goddess was the fountain and source of human life. Inatha also signifies inanimate things as trees, stones and wood.
Through v 49 of al-Dhariyat (We created pairs of everything) the Quran guides the idolworshippers to get rid of their stupid delusion.
The idolworshippers, in fact, submit to Shaytan who, devoid of good, invites his followers to lawlessness, anarchy and evil.

The whole universe is administered by Allah's laws, therefore, man who is a part of the whole, cannot be unmindful of the universal laws and act in contradiction to the operation of such laws, physical as well as spiritual, because he is not independent of their application. Only Allah, the creator of these laws, is independent and self-sufficient.

The translation of this verse contains the clear guidance of maintaining justice without fear or favour.
According to Ma-idah: 8, justice and taqwa go together inseparably. Shiba: 46 also urges man to stand for Allah individually and collectively.

If the aim is to understand the truth, a meaningful discussion can be made with the critics of Islam as has been enjoined in v 125 of al-Nahl.

The last sentence of this verse lays down a vital decree of legislation which governs the social, economic and political life of the Muslim community.

Huwa khadi-uhum implies that He outwits them or requites them for their deceit. The literal meaning of khada is to deceive, but use of deception is not applicable to Allah. He gives the hypocrites and the unbelievers respite which ultimately cause their downfall.
The psychological state of some of the new converts has been discussed in the commentary of v 8 to 20 of al-Baqarah.
Ali was the only one whose wajh (face) has been glorified by Allah because he never turned to any one or anything save Allah. Even today the Muslims acknowledge this unique merit of Ali by referring to him as karramallahu wajhahu (Allah generously honoured his face), whereas to others they refer to as radi-allahu anhu (may Allah be pleased with him).

The Holy Prophet was sent to mankind for all times. To say that his authority came to an end after his departure and thereafter the book of Allah is sufficient for us, is a declaration of revolt against Allah and His messenger.

The Imams of the Ahlalbayt have said that Isa would come in this world again. The whole world will embrace Islam and believe in Isa and Al Mahdi, the representative of the Holy Prophet. All disputes will disappear before the death of Isa.
Imam Ali ibn abi Talib has said:
Whoever dies sees me; be he a believer or a hypocrite. To see Ali means to witness the truth. The personal pronoun (whoever) refers to Isa, or to one who dies, or both, because an authentic tradition of the Ahlalbayt says that Isa, a witness over all the people of the book, since the beginning to the end, will at last die. Therefore the pronoun refers to both.

Grammatically wal muqimin, like wal rasikhun, is in possessive and objective case, whereas wal mutunuz zakat and wal muminun are in nominative case. All commentators agree that in certain circumstances by giving the form of the possessive and objective case to the verb and the nominative case vice versa, it will receive a distinction for the sake of emphasis. According to a tradition A-isha observed that this is one of the mistakes committed by the scribes who wrote the Quran under the supervision of a committee appointed by Uthman but she and other companions, who used to criticise the government for less important issues did not object to it.
For awhina see al-Fatihah: 7.
The word Kama implies that in essence the revelation revealed to the Holy Prophet was similar to that which was revealed to other prophets and that he had the experience of all the specific forms and the manners of the revelations used separately for the earlier prophets (see al-Baqarah: 253). Qaba qawsayni aw adna (two bows or nearer) in v 9 of al-Najm puts the Holy Prophet on the highest pedestal of the nearest nearness to Allah.
The well-known Persian poet Rumi says:
The holy name of Ahmed bears all the names of the prophets. Since the hundred-per-cent (out-and-out) has come, the lesser than that is certainly with us.

Nuram mubina (a manifest light) is similar to imamum mubin in v 12 of Ya Sin. Please see  al-Baqarah: 2 to know how they explain each other. In v 35 to 38 of al-Nur it is stated that Allah guides unto His light (nur) whom He wills. The light is lit in the houses Allah has allowed to be exalted and His name remembered in them, when His praises are sung morning and evening by men whose attention is never drawn to the worldly gains, nor do they ever cease to remember Him. The light of guidance can never reach any man except through such men. They are the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahlalbayt, particularly chosen by Allah after thoroughly purifying them (Ahzab: 33).
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al-Sadiq said:
Through us (the Ahlalbayt) Allah is recognised and worshipped.

Kalalah means one who has no parents or children, in which case it implies the existence of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and their children.
In v 12 of this surah kalalah implies the maternal relations, whereas, here, it refers to the paternal relatives.
Walad stands for an issue and not for a son only.

After islama dina, fa, in faman, connects its following clause to the prohibitory clause preceding alyawma to islama dina, making the two clauses in alyawma to islama dina parenthetical. In its esoteric significance fa may be connected with the immediately preceding clauses to mean that Islam in its true form is that which was made known at Ghadir Khum in pursuance of v 67 of this surah.

Jawrihi means any hunting animal, but mimma amsakna restricts the animal to be that who can hold the prey for its master. The adverb makallibin refers to dogs only.
According to the Ahlalbayt Allah's name should be mentioned at the time of setting the dog to catch the prey. For details refer to fiqh.

This verse gives permission to the Muslims to eat the food (made of grains) offered by the people of the book; and also the chaste women of the people of the book are lawful for the Muslims. Wal muhsanat should be understood with reference to ujurakunna, because both these words have been used in verse 24 of an Nisa while allowing mutatun nisa (temporary marriage). Therefore, instead of permanent wedlock, this permission relates to mutatun nisa.

Those who wipe the whole head with a wet hand and wash the feet instead of wiping them with the wet hands do not take into consideration that which the ba in biru-usikum implies.
In tayammum, again due to the possessive particle ba in biwujuhikum, only a portion of the face and the hands have to be wiped-the parts which have to be washed in wudu are wiped in tayammum, and the parts which are wiped in wudu are omitted in tayammum.
The intention of Allah is to purify and complete His favour. This verse is legislative. It implies that whoever submits to Allah's command will get His blessings. The will of Allah as in Ahzab: 33 is creative which means "Be; and it becomes".

The covenant, mentioned in this verse, wherewith Allah has bound the faithful, and by virtue of which His favour has been bestowed on them, is that which has been referred to in v 3 of this surah-the last covenant taken from the faithfuls at Ghadir Khum (please see  v 3 of this surah pertaining to "today I have perfected for you your religion and have completed My favour upon you ").
"When you said" refers to the reply they gave to the Holy Prophet when he told them "of whomsoever I am the master (mawla) Ali is his master (mawla)." Please see  v 67 of this surah for authentic references from the books written by well-known Muslim (non-Shia) scholars; and to know the names of the historians, traditionists and commentators who have reported the proceedings of the historic event at Ghadir Khum.
"And fear Allah; verily Allah knows that which is (hidden) in your breasts (hearts)" refers to the spirit of revolt, which at last manifested itself in Saqifa Bani Sa-idah after the departure of the Holy Prophet .

Fatratin means an interval in the process of preaching, not discontinuation or breakdown of the institution of vicegerency of Allah on the earth. see  al Baqarah: 30.

The order to enter a holy land, or turn from one direction to another (change of qibla), or to remain stationed at a certain place (battle of Uhad), was given to test the degree of submission to the divine commands. The Quran refers to such instances to warn the Muslims to avoid disobedience displayed by the Jews in similar circumstances .

Only two God-fearing men (Joshua and Caleb), from among the several followers of Musa, believed in Allah and His Prophet and relied upon them. Similarly a large majority of the Muslims, present at Ghadir Khum also turned disloyal to the covenant they bound themselves with on that day and till the day of zahur (appearance of the living Imam and Isa) their followers shall continue to do as the Jews and their own leaders did.

The impertinent disobedience of the Muslims to the order of the Holy Prophet to march under the command of Usamah, or of some of the companions to his order to bring paper and pen (hadith al qirtas), bears similarity to the conduct of the followers of Musa. Not only the paper and pen demanded by the Holy Prophet was not provided to him but also it was observed that the old man (Holy Prophet) was in a delirium, uttering nonsense. Like Musa the Holy Prophet said:
Go away. Leave me alone.

The wandering of the children of Israil was for forty years, but the wandering of those who have broken the covenant made at Ghadir Khum shall last till the reappearance of the last Imam of the house of the Holy Prophet.
"Do not grieve for (these) rebellious people." shows that Musa, inspite of all the injuries and slanders heaped upon him, pitied his rebellious people, and was moved at their miseries.

Waging war against Allah and His prophet means hostility against His chosen representatives; or deviation from His laws by overstepping the boundaries laid down by Him; or letting loose a reign of terror to persecute and frighten innocent people in order to deprive them of their rights; or attempts to undermine the cause of Islam and the overall interests of the Muslims; or activities to enslave, exploit and destroy human beings.

Only the prophets and the pious divines who had submitted to Allah, were entrusted with the responsibility of giving judgements according to the Tawrat. The people had no right to use their discretion. Likewise the Quran was not abandoned to the eccentric and unreliable evaluation of common people as wrongly concluded by a group of the Holy Prophet's companions who believed in hasbuna kitabullah (sufficient for us is the book of Allah). On the contrary the Holy Prophet joined his Ahlalbayt with the Quran as the infallible guardians of its integrity, meanings and application (hadith al thaqalayn). There is no doubt about its genuineness. It has been kept safe from corruption. Allah, the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt have preserved its originality for the guidance of mankind till the end of the world. Through the Quran the other heavenly scriptures have also been preserved. Therefore, their original and true texts will be made known to the people by the awaited holy Imam in order to expose the corrupted and distorted editions of these two holy books, the Jews and the Christian present before the world as the word of God.

Those who do not act by that which has been revealed have been described as infidels in v 44, unjust in v 45, and transgressors in v 47 (of this surah). There is no justification in restricting the application of these descriptions to the Jews and the Christians only, because any one, Muslim or non-Muslim, who does not submit to the absolute authority of Allah's commands and guidance becomes a kafir (infidel), or a zalim (unjust), or a fasiq (transgressor) according to the degree of disobedience he has employed in his actions.

According to v 42 of this surah, if the people of the book refer their disputes to the Holy Prophet or any of his successor, it can be judged in the light of their books or in accordance with the Islamic law, or it can be referred back to their own jurists.

5:49 .
Verse 50 was quoted by Bibi Fatimah Zahra in her address to the assembly of her father's companions when the first caliph, depriving her of the inheritance she had received from her father (the Holy Prophet), wrongfully confiscated her lands in Fadak. Please refer to her biography published by our Trust to know the issue of Fadak; and study the commentary of al Baqarah: 9 which makes clear the fate of those who harassed annoyed and oppressed her.

The qualities, mentioned in this verse and v 29 of al Fat-h (according to well-known traditions written in Sahihs, Musnads and Tafsirs), were owned by no one but Ali. In all the battles fought by the Holy Prophet against the enemies of Allah, the Shaykhayn (the first caliph and the second caliph) never played a decisive role in any battle, nor won victory in single combats or general confrontations; on the contrary they were always either overpowered or ran away from the scene of action. More often they did not carry out the orders given to them by the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet knew that Dhith-Thadiyyah was an apostate, so he asked the Shaykhayn to kill him, but they disobeyed and spared his life; and it was this renegade who, according to Sahih Bukhari and others, became the leader of the Khawarij, and was finally killed by Ali in the battle of Nahrawan.
No doubt the Shaykhan and their adherents were severe and hard against the Ahlalbayt and their followers .
"Allah shall bring a people", refers to those who, later on, gathered under the banner of Ali (whose qualities have been clearly described in this verse and v 29 of al Fat-h), in the battles of Jamal, Siffin and Nahrawan. When Ammar ibn Yasir was asked as to how could he fight against the people who professed Islam, he replied: "We fight under the banner of Ali against those who are under the banner of Mu-awiyah, in keeping with the Quran. They professed Islam but concealed infidelity in their hearts, and have now come out
in their true colour of apostasy." The followers of Ali strive hard in the way of Allah, not fearing the criticism of the apostates. The devotees of the other Imams of Ahlalbayt also come in this category, and according to many commentators of all schools of thought in Islam (Majma ul Bayan) at the time of the reappearance of Imam al Mahdi the world will witness the true interpretation of these phrases of the Quran.
The Muslims did not oppose the actions taken against the apostates in the times of the Shaykhayn, but they criticised Ali ibn abi Talib for fighting against A-isha and Mu-awiyah; therefore, this verse refers only to Ali and his devotees.
There is no historical evidence to prove that the Holy Prophet ever referred to any fight by Abu Bakr, Umar or Uthman against the apostates, but he had predicted Ali's fight against three types of apostates-nakithin (oath-breakers), qasitin (wrong-doers), maraqin (strayed ones). It was also foretold by him that Ammar Yasir would be killed by a group of insurgents.

There is no historical evidence or traditions which may inform us that (after the revelation of "Deliver you what has been sent down unto you from your Lord; and if you do not do it, then you have not delivered His message at all") any command relating either to doctrine or practice was announced by the Holy Prophet. The decision of wilayah or imamah (successorship of the Holy Prophet) should have been and was the most important issue to complete the religion of Allah, therefore, in this verse through the abovenoted emphatic words, the almighty Lord of the worlds has asked His last messenger to declare the name of his successor as prophethood was going to be terminated after him and this duty was so rightly emphasised that if it was not done the Holy Prophet would have not carried out the divine mission for which he was chosen. It also implies that without declaration of the successorship of the divinely chosen successor the din would have remained incomplete and defective. So after the declaration of the wilayah or imamah of Ali ibn abi Talib, at Ghadir Khum, v 3 of this surah was revealed:
"This day I have perfected, for you, your religion and have completed My favour on you, and have chosen for you Islam (to be) your religion."
It is known to all that the divine arrangement of the surah and their verses is not based on chronological order. v 3 of this surah was revealed after the revelation of this verse
Ma unzila cannot mean "whatever or all that which has been revealed", as some commentators try to do. because an order to repeat all the doctrinal and practicable teachings, so far revealed, as a reminder. does not justify the use of the words "If you do not do it, then you have not delivered the message (Islam) at all." Moreover, in the long sermon, the Holy Prophet gave at Ghadir Khum. he first enumerated all the divine commands, he conveyed to the people one by one and obtained the confirmation of all those who were present there that he did exactly what he had mentioned, then he declared that of whomsoever he was the mawla, Ali was his Mawla- a declaration of the utmost importance for the completion and perfection of the religion of Allah, the sole axis of his 23 years of prophetic mission. The verse also points out the danger the Holy Prophet might encounter due to the appointment of Ali as his successor, not from the infidels, but from the people surrounding him, the hypocrites, who had their own plans to carry out after his departure; and also assures the Holy Prophet that He would protect him from their mischief. Any man of ordinary common-sense knows that in only repeating the already revealed commands there could have been no danger to be encountered by the Holy Prophet. It was the declaration of Ali's successorship that could generate the hostility the hypocrites had hidden within themselves, and history is a witness that they all opposed Ali and his descendants after the departure of the Holy Prophet, persecuted them and killed them. The issue of wilayah or imamah had to be decisively finalised so that there be no plea for the ummah against Allah (Nisa: 165). Now the burden of discord and deviation, in which a large number of Muslims and their leaders, whom they follow or followed, sank deep after the Holy Prophet, has to be carried by them till they are summoned before Allah on the day of judgement alongwith their leaders (Bani Israil: 71). On the day of reckoning they shall not have any excuse, because v 67 and 3 of this surah and declaration of Ali's wilayah is an everlasting argument and evidence (hujjat) over the ummah in particular and mankind in general.
Please also see  v 55 of this surah for further proofs of the wilayah or imamah of Ali ibn abu Talib.
According to Imam Jafar al Sadiq, although salat, zakat, sawm and hajj are (generally considered) the pillars of din, yet more emphasis was laid on and importance given to (the issue of) waliyah by Allah (through v 67 and 3 of al Ma-idah).

This verse also refers to the usurpers, tyrants and despots who deviate from the prescribed path of Allah inspite of the warnings they receive from the pious and godly men. Instead of paying attention to the admonition, they persecute and kill the holy devotees of Allah, make some minor adjustments to deceive the people and continue to walk on the path of Shaytan. The so-called Muslim rulers, after breaking the covenant made at Ghadir Khum, followed this line of action, under the disguise of avoiding discord and trouble as if they knew more than Allah and the Holy Prophet.

Some well meaning Muslims, imitating certain self-denying Christians, had vowed not to partake of delicious foods and to abstain from going in to their wives. This the Holy Prophet strongly disapproved, declaring in the assembly of his companions that there is no place for monks and ascetics in Islam because due to asceticism and severity many nations had been destroyed. v 93 of this surah, v 2 of Ta Ha and verse 1 of Tahrim also discourage asceticism. So forbidding anything allowed by Allah and His Prophet is transgression, because either forbidding the lawful or allowing the forbidden (as had been done by many Muslim rulers) amounts to breaking the bounds of the divine law.

To swear to do what is forbidden or not to do what is obligatory is condemnable. To swear to do or not to do that which is optional in shari-ah is a binding oath. Also to swear to do that which is commendable or not to do that which is not honourable is a binding oath. For rules of expiation in addition to this verse, please also refer to books of fiqh.

According to the Ahlalbayt all the prophets of Allah were strict abstainers from intoxicating drinks. Hashim, Abdul Muttalib, Abdullah, Abu Talib, Jafar, Ali and the Holy Prophet, followers of the creed of Ibrahim, never touched any intoxicating drink. Some new converts continued wine-drinking till v 219 of al Baqarah was revealed. Yet, not satisfied with the manner of its revelation, they did not altogether abandon their old habit. Then v 43 of al Nisa was revealed. Still drinking parties were held in secret. Once, in such a gathering, where some of his prominent companions were enjoying wholeheartedly, the Holy Prophet came and recited these verses.
"We will keep away from it. We will keep away from it! O Messenger of Allah!" said the companions.
After that total prohibition prevailed. According to Iqdul Farid even after the total prohibition, a renowned companion of the Holy Prophet used to drink the nabidh on the plea that without it he could not digest camel's meat, because of which some Muslim jurists think that use of nabidh is permissible .

The fear of the people about the fate of those who used to drink intoxicating drinks and gamble, and died before these evils were prohibited shows how decisive is the command of Allah regarding wine-drinking and gambling. It may also refer to v 87 of this surah in which case it means lawful things.

La ilma lana does not mean "We do not know anything", but it means "the knowledge we have is not ours, it is Yours, gifted to us by You, and that too is limited. You are the infinite, omniscient ".
In v 32 of al Baqarah the angels also say: "Glory be to You! We have no knowledge except what You have taught us; verily, You are the knowing, the wise".

Unzur implies that the Holy Prophet had seen the scene of the day of resurrection, in advance, and was fully aware of that which will take place. Once he had said:
"I and the final hour have been sent together; and everything is moving towards this end."
It shows that he is viewing all that which is taking place in the universe.

The Quran is meaningful and a guidance to those whose minds and hearts accept it (v 19 of this surah), but it is recited as a hujjat (argument) to those also whose hearts do not receive it as said in v 26.

Resurrection is an evolutionary stage (from the terrestrial to the heavenly and spiritual) where one feels the presence of Allah.

Consciousness of the worldly life (its sorrows and pleasures) is an essential feature of the life of hereafter. It renders the theory of transmigration null and void.

Notwithstanding the universality of the teachings of the Holy Prophet, the real purpose of the divine guidance is to provide guidance to those who have enlightened minds and spiritual integrity to use their free will and intention in order to choose the right path and walk on it.
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq said:
"Do not try to increase the number of the true faithfuls by inviting those who do not possess the essential intelligence and tendency for development and progress. Certainly Allah has pointed out, in verse 17 and 18 of al Zumar, the men of understanding who study, examine, rationalize, and, through their free will and candid intention, make a choice of the path of Allah and reject the suggestions made by Shaytan ."

The Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt have been distinguished from other human beings because their physical and spiritual lives attained perfection through divine guidance and inspiration which they earned because whatever they did, natural or supernatural, was in total submission to Allah's will and in compliance with His commands, by His permission. It is a state of absolute ubudiyat (obedience).
Besides Allah, no one knows and controls the unseen, and he who claims knowledge of the unseen and control over it, either by his own inherent skill and effort or through some other agency not connected with and subservient to Allah, is a vulgar soothsayer - deaf, dumb and blind. Also refer to Tur : 37, 38; Qalam : 47.
According to v 112 and 121 of this surah the evil ones among men and jinn inspire each other.

There are some men (sinners) who, aware of the warnings given by the Holy Prophet, believe in the day of reckoning; and eventually realize their responsibility to guard themselves against evil, so they adopt piety, and rely upon Allah.
For intercession see al Baqarah : 48, 123.

Allah is the subduer of His creatures by His absolute and sovereign power and authority, with or without their will. The angels or "the sent ones" (rusul) carry out His commands all over the universe as His subordinate agents. His absolute authority is supreme. Attribution of any activity to any person or thing for which there is no divine decree or declaration means assigning a parallel authority which is shirk (polytheism).

Mawla (Lord-master) has been used by the Holy Prophet for himself and Imam Ali on the day of Ghadir Khum (see Ma-idah : 67) in the same sense Allah has used it for Himself in this verse. The Holy Prophet as Allah's vicegerent and Ali as the Holy Prophet's vicegerent, appointed by him at the command of the Lord of the worlds, have also been entrusted with the divine power of judgement. Judgement requires the full knowledge of truth and perfect ability to distinguish between right and wrong. No one possesses it save Allah and His messenger and his successors appointed by Him.

The prophets of Allah did not commit mistakes intentionally, or unintentionally, or by forgetfulness.
The Holy Prophet said:
"My eyes sleep, but my heart always remains awake."

Zulm means (any) evil or transgression in thought or action. In their supplications, the prophets and the Imams have used the word zalim for themselves in order to describe their humble position before Allah at the time of seeking His mercy (refer to Anbiya : 87) because all created beings, be they prophets or Imams, need His mercy at all times in their lives here and hereafter. They have used it to avoid vanity or pride so that through utmost humility they could become thoroughly devoted to the service of Allah. Such a confession is a part of the tasbih (glorification of Allah) they used to recite again and again, sitting, standing, walking or reclining.
The Holy Prophet said:
"We do not know Thee, O Lord, as Thou should be known, nor do we worship Thee as Thou should be worshipped."

Man, more often, fails to have a clear view of Allah's attributes and the scope and the effects of His will. Some men accept His authority in the sphere of creation, but leave out legislation and deny revelation and prophethood. This and the next verses confirm that He has manifested His legislative authority through revelations revealed to His chosen prophets. The Tawrat revealed to Musa, has been cited as an example. It was a light and a guidance, containing knowledge and wisdom, taught to his followers, which neither they nor their ancestors knew. The Quran not only bears witness to its own truth but also testifies the previous scriptures revealed to Musa, Isa and other prophets (see  An-am : 19). In many verses of the Quran Allah Himself bears witness to His prophets and their divinely commissioned missions; and His testimony is based upon the light and the miracles referred to in the heavenly scriptures.

In v 91 and 92 it has been said that only divine revelations, not conditioned by trial and error, give knowledge and guidance. In the same manner it is stated here that the process of nature cannot be fully explained by the empirical method. Therefore existence of the divine factor has to be acknowledged .
The term life and death are not absolute or independent. The elemental matter of a body-cell may be described as a living being, but, in view of the properties manifested in the cell, it is non-living.
The Quranic explanation is based upon the actual phenomena active in nature.

It is true that Allah has provided guiding stars to man for his material benefit. It is also true that He has not left man to bewilder in spiritual darkness, therefore, He has sent down His chosen representatives to guide mankind to the right path. According to Ali ibn Ibrahim's Tafsir nujum means the holy Imams among the Ahlalbayt of the Holy Prophet.

Allah has produced two sexes from a single soul. The male is termed as the depository and the female as the repository. In al Hajj : 5, al Mursalat : 21 and in many other verses, the mother has been described as the resting place.

The pagans worship the wonders of nature, because they can not understand them as hidden spiritual forces, so they commit shirk by associating them with Allah.

Imam Ali mentions in Nahj al Balagha that once some infidels assured the Holy Prophet that if he commanded a tree to come to him they would believe in him and his God. The Holy Prophet did as they wished. They asked him to order the tree to go back to its original place. He again did as they desired. Then they asked him to divide the tree in two equal portions and bring one portion only to him and then send it back to join the stationary portion. He again did exactly what they wanted .
The infidels said: "You are a sorcerer."

In yajhaluna "ignorance" refers to the false assumption that man is not free to act according to his will, therefore, he is not responsible for his deeds.
Man has been given full freedom to choose belief or disbelief. He is responsible for what he does. Please see  al Fatihah : 2 and 5.

The spirit of evil is ever active and leads man astray by false theories of compulsion and predestination, and prevents him from making the right choice. As said in the preceding verse Allah neither prevents the instigators nor the followers through His creative will.

The terms of death and life are relative. Their application varies from the simplest form of matter to the most sophisticated form of human beings, among whom there are further grades according to inherent intellect and power of execution, the highest example is of the prophets and the chosen representatives of Allah. Death has been used in this verse in the sense of the absence of the light of faith, and life in the sense of a fully aware conscience guiding the soul to the right path; but wherever the "bringing of the dead to life" is mentioned in the Quran this interpretation (an ignorant disbeliever is shown light to make him a believer) does not apply.

Verses 12 to 15 of as Saffat and v 7 of al Ahqaf also confirm that the Holy Prophet showed some signs (miracles) to the people when it was absolutely necessary but disbelieving infidels said: "This is only magic" or "This is pure sorcery", because their repulsive nature would not allow them to believe in the clear evidences of the Holy Prophet's singular powers Allah had bestowed on him.

This verse asserts the existence of invisible beings who establish communication with the human beings and influence the weak-minded among them so as to lead them astray from the right path. Evil consorts with evil because of their mutual bargains, bound as they are to each other in the planning and execution of evil.

Minkum (from among you) indicates that messengers of Allah had also been sent to the jinn (a separate people) because the Quran says: "We have sent a guide to every people." As man is superior to all the created beings the messengers sent to the jinn must have worked under the human-prophets, but the Holy Prophet was the sole guide for all the created beings, men, jinn and angels, and for this reason the jinn have been addressed in the Quran - Ahqaf : 29; Rahman : 33; Jinn : 1.

As a principle no one is punished unless the divine guidance is made available to him.

The superstitious rites and rituals of the pagans, mentioned in v 137 to 140, were deliberately introduced by the priests to exploit the ignorant people in the name of God. The laws and ordinances decreed by Allah are based upon reason and wisdom. Those who attribute such stupid superstitions to Him will be severely punished.

Through the Jews and the Christians the pagans had heard about the coming of the angels, and the Lord and His signs in the times of their prophets. So they pretended that if these types of events would take place they also would believe in the Holy Prophet's preaching. Through this verse Allah has made clear to them that nothing of this sort would happen, but certainly the angel of death will come and the day of final judgement will come when belief in them will not do any good to the disbelievers, who had not believed in them before. Please see  al Baqarah : 255 to have a clear understanding of the words in the Quran or in the traditions which refer to the movement or visibility of Allah. His absolute unity and infinite existence renders null and void the conjectural idea of His corporeality.

The Christians have a misconceived idea that the intercessor bears the burden of the sins of the person whom he has saved from punishment. They also say that all the prophets were sinners except Isa who alone will bear the sins of the sinners. But intercession does not mean bearing the burden of the sinner, therefore, all the prophets are able to intercede on behalf of the sinners for obtaining Allah's forgiveness, because no prophet had ever committed a sin.

The theory that every believer is a vicegerent of Allah cannot be used to assume that men have the right to select or elect anyone from among themselves to exercise authority on their behalf. The verse clearly says that Allah has raised some of His deputies over others in ranks, on account of their wisdom, piety and total dedication to the cause of Allah (jihad); therefore they should be allowed to exercise the divinely delegated authority, followed and obeyed.

These verses clearly establish the fact that the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt have the permission of Allah to intercede on behalf of those whom they recognise as their true followers. see  al Baqarah: 48
From the lowest form of creation to the highest level of intellectual and spiritual existence, there are finite beings, but the latter control the former, and the infinite supreme being, through His omnipotence (arsh or kursi) encompasses and controls the entire mass of finite beings, low or high. This hold and domination of the infinite over the finite is implied in the word istawa. It does not mean "Allah sitting on any throne" as some anthropomorphic schools of thought imagine. Istawa alal arsh means that the process of creation, its operation and administration belong to Allah.

In v 74 it is said that the people of Thamud had hewed the mountains to make houses, which shows that they were a nation of architects, well versed in the art of masonry. They also built palaces in the plains as their abodes but used the houses in the mountains after nightfall to protect themselves, and also kept there those among them who were about to die. Professor Nicholson says that according to the monuments found in Madayan al Salih in the mountain-houses the people of Thamud buried their dead. It does not disprove the Quran. Obviously when the sick died they must have been buried there.

For the first time sodomy is declared a crime, a most horrible crime; and capital punishment has been ordained. Refer to fiqh.

The importance of the number 40 (days, nights, weeks, months or years) for spiritual attainments has been confirmed by many authentic traditions.

Manifestation in v 143 does not mean taking form or appearance. In Najm: 18 it is stated that the Holy Prophet witnessed much greater signs (manifestations) of Allah. Allah's absolute infiniteness makes it impossible to attribute corporeality to Him, but it is possible to have spiritual awareness of His being through the faculties developed by devoted concentration of heart and mind-the "meeting with the Lord" in An-am: 155 and Ha Mim: 54 must be understood in this sense.

The making of the golden calf and its worship by the Jews during the absence of Musa on the mountain have been discussed in the commentary of al-Baqarah: 51. Also refer to Ta Ha: 85 to 97, which say that Harun was, in no way, connected with the Samiri's plot to hoodwink the people, on the contrary he warned them to beware as it was a test of their faith, but they did not listen to him. The anger of Musa, in fact, was directed against the mischief-makers, but he brought Harun into picture so that it could be established that he had discharged his responsibility faithfully. It proves that if people accept any one as authority without divine or prophetic sanction, they are led astray as the followers of Musa were duped by Samiri.
Allah forgives those who turn repentant unto Him sincerely and amend, with firm determination not to sin again.

Some commentators refer to mithaq ul alast-that after the creation of Adam Allah brought forth from the loins of Adam all his descendants (all humanity, born or unborn, without any limit of time), conscious of their existence, on the earth or in some state before coming on earth, and that a covenant about His rububiyat was taken from all of them, which is binding on each individual. Some Shia commentators say that the covenant also included the finality of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet and imamat of Ali ibn abi Talib. It is also said that some accepted and some rejected the covenant. Those who accepted it there accept it here also, and those who rejected it there reject it here also. The theory of a covenant taken in the state of pre-existence is found unreasonable in view of the following facts:
(1) The words in the text refer to the descendants (dhurriyyatahum) of the children of Adam, who were brought forth from their loins, not from the loins of Adam.
(2) The question "Am I not your Lord?" was addressed to all. All of them said "yes". It was a unanimous reply. There was no difference of opinion.
(3) Allah made each of them witness over himself so that no one may say: "I was not aware (conscious) of this," or that, having no choice of his or her own, blindly followed the ancestors. If this refers to the state of pre-existence nobody would remember it, nor the reminders or warnings of any prophet would help to recall as to what took place prior to existence, therefore, on the day of reckoning every person will say: "I do not remember."
(4) It suggests compulsion, whereas man has free choice to believe or not to believe.
The true meaning of the verse is that Allah brings forth from every human being his offspring and makes each one aware of one's self or soul when one reaches maturity; and at that stage of full consciousness he knows that there is a (supreme and uncaused) creator who has brought him into existence. This acknowledgement is the result of an inherent awareness in every human being, which makes him responsible for his belief or disbelief, his good deeds or evil deeds. At this stage each individual becomes free from the blind influence of others.
This verse does not refer to any state of development prior to the state when every man becomes a witness over himself.
To presume the existence of the cognitive self (I) prior to the present life, is to accept the possibility of the transmigration of the soul from one body to another body-a doctrine rejected by Islam on the basis of theological and rational arguments. There are stages through which the human soul passes till it reaches full consciousness, but there is no possibility of the existence of any conscious stage, prior to the present consciousness, which cannot be remembered. All that has been said in this connection about the existence of cognitive self in the state of pre-existence is based upon conjecture relied upon by the old pagan cults to believe in the false theories of transmigration. Sayyid Murtada, Shaykh Mufid and Abul Ali Tabrasi have rejected the possibility of a conscious life in any state of pre existence.
Also see  Ali Imran: 81. Another interpretation of this verse is as under:
Allah, the omnipotent creator, after creating Adam from clay, asked him and every soul to be born in his progeny, who, in the infinite knowledge of the almighty Allah, would come on this earth: "Am I not your Lord?" All of them said: "Yes. We bear witness". It was done so that men may not say that they did not know who their Lord-Creator is. This applies to v 173 also. The Holy Prophet said that if only men knew when Ali was appointed mawla and amir al muminin, they would not deny his superiority over all other created beings. According to Firdaws al Akhyar by Dayami, chap. 14, p. 274; and Tafsir of al Ayyashi, when the almighty Lord decided to create the universe, He assembled all His creatures together before Himself and asked them: "Who is your Lord?" Thereupon the first to answer was the Holy Prophet, and next was Ali ibna abi Talib, and then all the Imams who were to be his descendants. They all said: "You are our Lord." Then the almighty Lord made them the repositories of divine knowledge and said to the angels: "Behold, these are the repositories of My knowledge and these are the trusted ones from among all My creatures and they shall be the guides of all in everything."
Then the Lord commanded all the descendants of Adam to acknowledge Him as their Lord and to promise obedience to them, and all said: "We promise." The angels also said: "We bear witness".

Some commentators think the narrative relates to Balam. Some think the person referred here is Umayya ibn Abu Salt who read the old scriptures and knew that Allah would send a prophet about that time, but when the promised prophet, the Holy Prophet did arrive, he refused to acknowledge him. Some think it relates to Amru ibn Numan ibn Sayfi, an ascetic, who believed in the creed of Ibrahim but mixed it with the false beliefs of Christian monks, and when he was censured by the Holy Prophet, he turned against him.
Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said: "Though it relates to Balam, but Allah intends to set an example for those who receive true guidance from Allah, yet prefer to act according to their own desires in order to lay hands on the worldly gains."

Since the creation of man there had been and should always be a person, present in this world, to guide others with truth. In view of this fact the Holy Prophet has said: "Whosoever dies without recognising the Imam (guide) of his age (in order to follow his guidance) dies the death of an ignorant pagan." According to many authentic traditions this condition remains valid up to the reappearance of the last Imam of the house of the Holy Prophet, the al Qa-im, because after the Holy Prophet, the number of such persons was restricted to twelve by the Holy Prophet himself.

The total absorption of the Holy Prophet in prayer and communion with Allah misled his opponents to think that he was seized with madness. Refer to Najm: 2 to 5. If he was possessed he was possessed by Allah. That is why he was never dazzled by worldly power, wealth or position. True in thought, word and deed, kind and considerate to the weak, merciful even to adversaries, undeterred by fear of the strong or the mockery of the cynics or the indifference of the heedless, he stood out firmly against the evil of polytheism.

About the sa-at (hour) and "when will be its appointed time" the Quran says that none knows it save Allah. See Nazi-at 42 to 44. "To your Lord is the end of it" says v 44 of an Nazi-at.
The word sa-at refers to the end of the creatures' striving unto their destiny. The destiny is fixed. It may be individual or collective. There are many grades also. It is a relative term applicable to resurrection or destiny of an individual, or a community or any part of the universe. Many worlds have been created and reached their destinies and experienced their resurrections. There are many worlds which are in the early stages of becoming, and many are drawing to their end. So no finite being knows the hour of termination. Allah is the end, unto Him everything is journeying and to Him everything shall return. He is free and independent of the application of time and space, because they are finite, applicable only to dimensional beings. The resurrection is beyond dimensions.

There is a general reference to the creation of man, whether male or female, from a single source. They must live in peace and harmony with love and affection for each other. When a child is born to a mother, the parents vow to make the child a true servant of Allah if He gives them a goodly child, but neglect their duties when the child begins to grow. That is how polytheism took roots in human society.

Listening to the recital of the Quran is highly commendable, but it becomes obligatory when it is recited in congregational prayer or in the sermon of Friday prayer. Refer to fiqh.

(i) Enemy's property, movable or immovable, abandoned by the enemy soldiers.
(ii) The movable or immovable property of those who have migrated to another place, leaving behind no owner-known as fayi (Hashr: 6 and 7).
(iii) The inheritance of a person who has left no inheritor.
(iv) The land which is owned by no one.
This verse was revealed when those, who participated in the battle of Badr, claimed the enemy's property, which they appropriated, as their own. It says that anfal belongs to Allah and the Holy Prophet, who is authorised to distribute or dispose it as he likes. It is because Allah is the absolute sovereign. He owns everything. He has delegated His authority to the Holy Prophet. In this way the discord, cropped up among the people, has been solved. It is a permanent principle and a guideline for all times to come.

Every person responds to the call of his desires, but when he submits to the call of Allah or the Holy Prophet his act of submission is due to "the coming of Allah in between a man and his desires", and thus he is prevented from going astray on account of the dictates of his vain desires.
In v 25 it is made clear that the consequences of social, political and religious deviation will not only harm those who have done injustice to themselves but also equally jeopardise the well-being of those who have done no wrong, therefore all the believers should safeguard themselves against evil by observing the laws made by Allah.
On several occasions the Muslims were put to test and trial (Ahzab: 11). Abu Ayyub Ansari narrates that once the Holy Prophet said to Ammar: "After me you will encounter many troubles. My followers will kill each other. They will sow the seeds of discord among themselves. In such events adhere to Ali, even if all of my followers form an alliance against him. Follow Ali and leave the people to follow whichsoever way they desire. Ali will not turn you away from the right path shown by me. To obey Ali is to obey me, and to obey me is to obey Allah."
Hakim Abul Qasim Asqani says, when this verse was revealed, the Holy Prophet said:
To oppose Ali's successorship after me is to deny my prophethood and the prophethood of all the prophets before me.
According to Imam Hasan bin Ali al Mujtaba v 25 gives report of the battle of Jaml engineered by Talha, Zubayr and A-isha against Ali. Tafsir al Khashshaf says that once Zubayr asked the Holy Prophet as to how much he loved Ali. The Holy Prophet said:
I love him as no man has ever loved any other man, not even his own son. How evil it will be when you will go to fight against him?

The Quraysh wanted to save their caravan and then annihilate the Muslims; and the Muslims decided to let the caravan alone and defend against Quraysh army coming from Makka-and they confronted each other at Badr, an appointment made possible by the legislative, not creative, will of Allah, because the last portion of v 42 makes it clear that by distinguishing between right and wrong, relying upon Allah's help, a correct decision was made by the Holy Prophet, which was the legislative will of Allah so that what Allah wanted to accomplish through this battle could become a criterion-those who had gone astray even after witnessing the clear sign did so by their own choice, and those who decided to follow the right path did so after seeing and understanding the evident proof.

The Holy Prophet and his successors (the Imams among his Ahlalbayt) were free from hallucination in dream or wakefulness, but Allah had communicated His decisions to His chosen representatives in their dreams-In v 102 of Saffat Ibrahim said to Ismail: "O my son I saw in a dream that I was sacrificing you", to which Ismail replied: "Father, do as you are commanded." The interpretation of Ibrahim was indicative whereas the interpretation of Ismail was imperative. Similarly the qualitative weakness of the enemy was shown to the Holy Prophet in terms of numerical weakness. Figurative expression of a fact to achieve success for a just cause is called tawriyah.

In ali Firawn, al means, in this verse, the followers and associates of Firawn, but in v 33 of Ali Imran, al means dhurriyyat (progeny), one of the other, as made clear in v 34 of Ali Imran.
Ali played a decisive role in Badr, Khandaq, Uhad, Khaybar, Hunayn and other battles, but Allah attributes the actions of the Holy Prophet and Ali to Himself because both of them were the hands of Allah, and through them He made effective His will. On this basis the Holy Prophet declared before the conquest of the fort of Khaybar: Ali will not come back until Allah wins victory for us through his hands.

For the first portion of the verse refer to v 4 of Muhammad-the enemy soldiers should be killed while the battle is in progress but as soon as they are thoroughly subdued, killing should be stopped. After that they can be held as captives, either to be set free after taking ransom or letting those go free who cannot pay ransom. In both the verses yuthkhina does not mean slaughtered but thoroughly subdued. It is the command of Allah to fight with unyielding courage until the enemy is thoroughly subdued.
In v 7 it is stated that the Muslims desired to capture the caravan carrying merchandise instead of going to fight the Makkan army.
Taking ransom from those who can pay it is allowed, but to say that yuthkhina means "killing" is to forge a lie against Allah. Some of the companions who were always afraid to fight the enemy in the battlefield wanted to kill them when they were held as helpless captives.

Announcements in v 75 of this surah and v 6 of al Ahzab do not abrogate this verse but contain a substitute ordinance corresponding to the changed circumstances. For details see fiqh.

The brotherhood formed between the mahajirs and ansars for the purpose mentioned in the preceding verse, was also used to encounter the brotherhood of the infidels, who supported each other like brothers, therefore those Muslims who stayed in Makka needed help from the mahajirs and ansars to face the persecution of the infidels, which was to be extended to them if they had not entered into any agreement with the infidels, because if the believers had not taken into consideration the sorry plight of those believers who did not migrate, there would have been trouble and sedition.
Islam enjoins upon its followers to give people every kind of facility to hear and understand the word of Allah. No other scripture contains such a provision for those who do not believe in the faith it propagates. The pagans of Makka, the worst enemies of Allah, were allowed to enjoy protection so that they might first know the teachings of the religion of Allah and then decide about their future conduct.

It has been made clear that it is the light of spiritual teachings of Islam in the hearts and minds of the worshippers of Allah which keeps the place of worship alive, not the outward grandeur nor the frequent visits of the visitors who come to perform acts of worship as mere rituals. Islam teaches man to keep in mind the fact that the whole world is like a masjid where every moment and every activity should be in the service of Allah.

The believers who stayed with the Holy Prophet on the day of Hunayn also received the divine tranquillity (sakinah), along with the Holy Prophet. In v 40 of this surah it is said that the companion of the Holy Prophet in the cave was deprived of this tranquillity.

According to this verse a disbeliever, or a polytheist, or an infidel (kafir) is he who (i) does not believe in Allah, nor in His oneness and unity, but associates other created beings as partners or co-equals with Him (ii) does not believe in the day of judgement (iii) does not follow what Allah and His Prophet have enjoined (iv) does not accept and submit to the true religion.
As the above noted negations are correlative and interrelated, one is the necessary consequence of the other. Apart from the corrupted and distorted beliefs of the people of the book (described in the succeeding verses) their denial and rejection of the true religion of Allah, Islam, is sufficient to put them in the category of disbelievers. The Jews and the Christians are the people of the book, and according to the jurists of the school of Ahlalbayt Zoroastrians are also included in the people of the book, because in v 17 of al Hajj they have been grouped with the Jews and the Christians, and the Holy Prophet and Imam Ali also treated them in the same manner as the Jews and the Christians were treated.

The reward of our good deeds and the punishment of our bad deeds, done in this world, shall be blissful or painful in the life of the hereafter in such a way that the life of hereafter shall reflect the actions done in this world.

The pagans of Arabia used to observe a year of 13 months after two years to combine the solar and lunar years, due to which they had to transfer the observance of Muharram to the succeeding month, Safar. This verse condemns their interference with that which Allah has ordained.

Like v 2 of Fat-h, the companions are addressed here through the Holy Prophet. The manner, mode and trend of expression is the same as in v 1 of Tahrim or v 68 of Anfal. The Holy Prophet had the option of giving permission (Nur: 62), and there was no prohibitory order prior to his action. He did not want to expose the hypocrites on his own, unless Allah condemns them as He does here and in other places.

There were hypocrites who stayed in Madina and refused to go with the Holy Prophet in the expedition of Tabuk. After the battle of Hunayn they were plotting to kill him at the first available opportunity. At the time when he was passing through a low land, while returning from the Tabuk expedition, twelve hypocrites tried to carry out their plot but failed, because in that very moment when they were about to strike, a lightning flashed and they ran away. The Holy Prophet disclosed their names to Hudhayfa and asked him to keep them as a secret.

Material gains and children without spiritual purification (essential for true belief and obedience to Allah's laws and the teachings of the Holy Prophet which are the only means for achieving deliverance and obtaining eternal happiness in the life of the hereafter) become a source of torment and agony.

Here and in v 9 of Tahrim the Holy Prophet has been commanded to fight against the hypocrites as was being done against the disbelievers, but no war was waged against the hypocrites during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet, nor in the times of the first three rulers. The order did not remain unattended, but was carried out by Ali as the Holy Prophet's true successor (see introduction of this surah to know that the command of Allah could only be carried out by the Holy Prophet himself or by one who was from him) in fulfilment of his prophecy that Ali would fight and destroy the nakithin (oath breakers), qasitin (deviators) and mariqin (apostates).

The Holy Prophet did not ever think of asking forgiveness for the hypocrites and the disbelievers. v 2, 3 and 4 of Najm have laid down the indisputable principle-he errs not, nor is led astray; nor he speaks of his own inclination; it is but revelation revealed. He followed nothing but the divine guidance.
To lay emphasis on the impossibility of awarding pardon to the hypocrites and the infidels Allah prevents the Holy Prophet in this verse from asking forgiveness for them, by using the word seventy which according to the usage of Arabic language implies indefinitely much.

The verses of this surah, the last revealed in Madina, indicate that the number of the hypocrites was steadily increasing, and continued to multiply during the next two years, particularly after the covenant the Holy Prophet took from all the Muslims at Ghadir Khum (see Ma-idah: 67). It was due to their influence and growing power that even the close companions refused to comply with the order of the Holy Prophet when he asked for pen and paper to write down his final directions. see Nisa: 65 for hadith al qartas. Ibn Sad says that they also refused to accept Usamah ibn Zayd as their commander when the Holy Prophet asked all his companions including Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Khattab to go to war under his leadership.
The Holy Prophet said:
"You opposed his father as you are opposing him. In my opinion his father deserved command more than others, and likewise he (Usamah) is more dear to me than others". (Sahih Bukhari vol.2, p.283)
The hypocrites did not suddenly disappear after the Holy Prophet, as the Muslim historians give impression in their books, but took total control in their hands, deprived Ali and Fatimah and their children, the progeny of the Holy Prophet, of their rights, persecuted them and killed them during their long reign.

Verse 94 clearly asserts that the Holy Prophet witnesses the deeds of all people in all ages as Allah does. see  al Baqarah: 143 and also v 105 of this surah and v 78 of al Hajj. It also states that the Holy Prophet always received information from Allah through revelation and not through any human agency.

The Holy Prophet's prayer has been stated to be a source of security and assurance to those who pay zakat, khums and sadaqas, therefore there must be his representative, divinely commissioned like him, in all times, in every age, to pray for those who spend in the way of Allah as ordained by Him. v 104 confirms that it is Allah who receives alms and accepts repentance (when the Holy Prophet or his successor prays and recommends)-through the Holy Prophet or his appointed representatives and successors.

This verse is in continuation of v 103. The believers referred to in this verse are those successors mentioned in v 55 of an Nur.

In the previous verses the trend and tendency of the hypocrites has been described. In this verse the qualities of the true believers are made known. Now there is no room to treat all the companions of the Holy Prophet as sailing in the same boat, in the ark of Nuh. There were two entirely different groups among the companions (sahabah), opposed to each other, in faith and character. As has been pointed out by the Holy Prophet only those who attached themselves with his Ahlalbayt, likened to the ark of Nuh, and followed them were in safe waters, and those who rejected them were drowned and lost.

In many verses the Quran asserts that the Holy Prophet does not do anything or say any word on his own authority but he follows that which is revealed to him. All his sayings are also revelation, though not the part of the Quran, as made clear in v 101 to 103 of al Nahl, but equally decisive and binding.

The Quran draws the attention of mankind to the following:
(1) The co-ordination of the forces of the heavens and the earth in the production of provisions for sustenance of life on the earth.
(2) Matter is subservient to mind. It is the mind which controls and employs the matter. The possessor of a finite mind cannot be universal and infinite.
(3) Neither life nor death is a necessary property of matter because it is an effect, not a cause, though it is controlled by life and death. The cause of life is life; and absence of life is death.
(4) The order found in the operation of the universe cannot be an outcome of disorder. It is the wisdom which regulates it. Therefore the answer to every question is Allah.

Allah invites man to accept His creative authority. As soon as man does so he has to follow and obey His legislative authority which implies obedience to His messenger, and in his absence, to the divinely appointed Imam (see  al Ma-idah: 55), and to the institution of "ijtihad and taqlid' based upon the teachings of the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt. In her address to the then ruling authority, Bibi Fatimah had pointed out and established the necessity of prophethood and imamat on the basis of this verse (refer to the Biography of Bibi Fatimah, published by this Trust). The authority to administer the affairs of mankind should be vested in a person who is divinely endowed to guide people to the truth, and not in a person who cannot distinguish between right and wrong or between good and evil (see notes on 3:101-115).
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad al Sadiq had rejected the theory of Mutazilites (that khilafah should be elected by adult franchise) by quoting the Holy Prophet (who said):
"Whoever draws the sword and calls people to obey him while there is a more learned man among the Muslims than he, is a straying impostor."
This verse and v 24 of Zukhruf prove that one should always follow the guidance of the best and the most learned authority-the basis of the doctrine of "ijtihad and taqlid".

Labth means stay or halt. It may refer to the life on the earth or to the period starting from death up to the day of resurrection. v 112 to 114 of Muminun also assert that men will readily call to mind what took place in the world and recognise their own comrades and associates as if they were separated a few hours before.

Ali ibn abi Talib said:
"By Allah, to pass a whole night, awake on the poisonous thorns of a desert and be drawn in chains round the neck, is more pleasant than to meet Allah if I have done injustice even to a single person or have usurped anything belonging to any one. If I am given all that is in the heavens and on the earth, in the seven continents, to do injustice to an ant by taking away from its mouth the husk of a grain or an oat, while it is going to its abode, l shall refuse it." (Nahj al Balagha)

Heart is the seat of all feelings and emotions. What is felt by the cognitive self has an immediate effect on the heart. In case of extreme grief, or envy, or hatred et cetera, the nervous system is effected so as to cause strain in the breast. The Quran refers to such feelings when it is said: "What is in the breast", and invites man to get rid of them by following the guidance given in its verses.
Sharah sadr, to expand the breast, actually means expansion of the human vision.

"Your houses" refers to the houses of ali Harun, the family of Harun-see  al Baqarah: 248-the inmates of which were purified by Allah Himself. The same houses have been referred to in v 35 to 37 of an Nur. The "house" in v 73 of al Hud and v 33 of al Ahzab is described as sacred and purified for the worship of Allah.

Out of many interpretations of this verse the most appropriate is that which is also confirmed by v 106 of Bani Israil-the full Quran was in an arranged form as a complete and perfect book; the separation of surahs and verses took place in the course of gradual revelation so that people may understand, remember and use it. [Refer to Ayatollah Pooya's essay "The Genuineness of the Holy Quran", and commentary of al Baqarah 2.]

Water, the perennial matter, from which the physical universe (terrestrial and celestial bodies) has been formed, is described as liquid, amenable to take any form, to prove that there is no limit to the possibility of development or, change in the matter, which implies a free competition in the process of continuity and progress. However perfect one may be, the possibility of further perfection is always there to try and attain, for which the Quran asks the Holy Prophet to pray in v 114 of Ta Ha.
After dealing with the process and purpose of creation, the reference to "raising up after death" may either refer to the present state in which man is (when he is nothing, unworthy of mention-Dahr: 1) or to the resurrection as the consequence of the life of this world. The raising up after death through an evolutionary process, which the Quran frequently mentions, appears as a fascinating but unreliable statement to the ignorant disbelievers, therefore they say it is a sorcery.

The Holy Prophet never felt inclined to give up any part of what was revealed to him nor his heart ever felt strained on account of people's persistent hostility or their unreasonable demand for miracles, which was contrary to the purpose of the final religion of Allah, based upon reason and facts. It is just a warning to those who desire to give up or forget those verses which do not serve their purpose.

Even the disbelievers, if they do good, will be duly recompensed in this life, because the Quran repeatedly says that Allah never let good deeds remain unrewarded, but they will have no share of eternal bliss on account of their disbelief.

In this verse yatlu means to follow, and to translate it "to recite" is incorrect as there is no mention of anything to be recited. On the contrary a "person" has been mentioned, who is with clear evidence from his Lord. Therefore "to recite" is meaningless. It is clearly said that there is a person who has come with clear evidence from Allah and there is another who immediately follows and bears witness to the truthfulness of the first; and before him the book of Musa had borne witness.
All commentators agree that the person with the clear evidence from Allah is the Holy Prophet.
The person who follows him is next to him, none come between these two.
The Holy Prophet is the first person. His witness is the second person.
The same testimony was borne by the book of Musa before.
Both are "Imam" and "Rahmah" (also refer to Ahqaf: 12).
The witness is Ali ibn abi Talib as has been mentioned by a large number of Muslim scholars mentioned above.

Tanur means oven, or the surface of the earth, or its high lands. The deluge was a wrath of Allah, so fierce and overwhelming that with the catastrophic downpour of rain, water simultaneously gushed forth from the underground, even from ovens in the houses of the people.

A very few believed Nuh and joined him in the ark. The great flood destroyed all save those in the ark. Keeping this in view the Holy Prophet said:
My Ahlalbayt are like the ark of Nuh. Whoso boards on it is saved, and whoso stays behind is drowned and lost.
Very few among the followers of the Holy Prophet adhere to his Ahlalbayt.

Nuh made this supplication to make it clear for ever that any relationship to the prophets without spiritual excellence does not justify the use of the term "ahl" ul Bayt. It is exclusively restricted to the thoroughly purified (Ahzab: 33) group of the Holy Prophet's household. Relationship by blood or matrimony is not applicable. True reflection of character and spiritual attainment is the basis of the thorough purification.

If the people of Thamud deserved punishment for killing a she-camel, what will be the fate of those who killed the children of the Holy Prophet?
When the six month old son of Imam Husayn was killed in Karbala, he said:
"O my Lord, they (the enemies of Allah and His messenger) treated my son as they treated the she-camel of Salih."

Sarah was included in the Ahlalbayt because firstly she was a cousin of Ibrahim and secondly she was going to give birth to Ishaq , in addition to her own merits, otherwise a wife (particularly one who does not possess required merits) cannot be included into the Ahlalbayt, a divinly chosen term to praise and glorify certain persons, because a wife can be divorced, after which she ceases to be a member of the house. Some of the Holy Prophet's wives had been censured by the Quran for their unbecoming conduct. The event of mubahila (Ali Imran: 61) has confirmed that the wives of the Holy Prophet were not chosen as nisa-ana, because none of them were among the Ahlalbayt. The term Ahlalbayt has been used exclusively for the family of Ibrahim, including both the Israelite and the Ismailite branches. As the chosen party of Allah, since time immemorial, they strived to establish "houses of prayer and worship" to serve Allah, and kept these houses purified, because they themselves had been thoroughly purified by Allah.

Shu-ayb was sent to reform and regulate financial and commercial aspects of human society. He preached honesty, fairplay and justice, above all belief in Allah, because polytheism (serving others beside Allah and accepting rulers, priests and the wealthy as lord-masters) is the main cause of all evils.

In this verse it is said that on the day of judgement no soul shall speak without Allah's permission. v 35 and 36 of al Murasalat say that they will not be allowed to put forward their excuses. v 39 of Ar Rahman says that neither men nor jinn will be questioned. v 24 of As Saffat says that they will be questioned. v 21 of Ha Mim says that their skins will bear witness against them when Allah shall give their skins the power to speak. There is no contradiction because as the holy Imams have pointed out (refer to Shaykh Saduq's treatise on the Shi-ah faith) the day of resurrection has many stages each has its own peculiarity which differs from the other stages and states, and every verse refers to a different or particular state or stage.

These verses refer to the conditions of the two groups of the wretched and the blessed prior to the day of resurrection. The wretched will be kept in hell so long as heavens and earth endure, unless the Lord wills otherwise which implies the possibility of remission of punishment for some of them. The blessed will be in paradise so long as heavens and earth endure, unless the Lord wills otherwise, but what the grace of Allah once has given will not be reversed. The punishment awarded after the final judgement will be permanent.

Imam Ali ibn abi Talib has said that in view of the "good deeds take away evil deeds" this verse gives (maximum) heart, confidence and joy to the less careful servants of Allah.

These verses indicate that Allah has given man free choice to develop his native endowments. There is no compulsion. Only those who submit their will to the will of Allah do not differ. On them the Lord bestows His mercy, and for that He has created them. Those who differ are deprived of the mercy of Allah. So the oft-quoted tradition of the Holy Prophet that "differences among my followers are a blessing" must be discarded as spurious or interpreted in a way that does not go against this verse.

Except four verses (the first three and the seventh according to Ibn Abbas) this surah was revealed in Makka on the eve of the Holy Prophet's migration to Madina. If true, it proves that the date and the sequence of the revelations were not taken into consideration by the Holy Prophet.
It must be noted that like Yusuf the Holy Prophet also had to leave his birth place on account of the conspiracy of his near relatives. This surah gave confidence and hope to him that they would also encounter the same fate as the brothers of Yusuf met. Like Yusuf the Holy Prophet also declared clemency for his relatives and tribesmen. After the fall of Makka he said: "I say that which my brother Yusuf said to his brothers in the end."

To manage the treasury of a country a knowing guardian is necessary, as per this verse, therefore, for a guardian who is entrusted with the responsibility to guide the whole mankind, in all times, unto the ultimate purpose of creation, the highest degree of wisdom (referred to in Nisa: 54-the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt) is required.

Yaqub wanted his sons to know that their undertaking to guard Benjamin had no credibility in his opinion, as was in the case of Yusuf aforetime. On both occasions Yaqub did not trust his sons; he put his faith in Allah alone.

Above every knowing there is a knower who knows all and more than all the knowing-Allah.

Ayatollah Mahdi Pooya says:
Far-tadda basira means (Yaqub) forwith regained his sight. It implies that he had lost his sight and then regained it.

The sajdah by the father and the brothers was the interpretation of Yusuf's dream in v 4. In keeping with his character as a prophet of Allah, Yusuf, in all humility, attributes everything good and worthy not to himself but to the grace of Allah. The divine grace is always based on knowledge and wisdom.

Those who follow the Holy Prophet, mentioned in Ali Imran: 61 and Ahzab: 33, also call people unto Allah, along with him, with clear insight of the truth, because they are surely of him as stated in Ibrahim: 36.
The Holy Prophet said:
"None shall preach the truth I have brought save me or he who is of me."
Refer to the introduction of al Bara-at.

Allah has created the universe. He is the sole sovereign. All laws pertaining to creation, legislation and administration are governed by His omnipotent, just and merciful will. There is no one, equal to Him, who shares in His absolute authority.

The followers of the school of Ahlalbayt believe that whatever the Holy Prophet said or did was in the light of revelations, for v 15 of Yunus says that he followed nothing but what is revealed to him-there are several types of revelations, such as the verses of the Quran, or wahi not disclosed in spoken words, hadith qudsi; and all these governed his whole life. So the fabricated tradition that he was unaware of the necessity of fertilisation of the female date- palm, implying that he used to make mistakes whenever he used his own discretion, should be rejected outright.

After knowing the process of creation and development, man is expected to marvel at the grandeur of the eternal and beyond the human comprehension powers of the creator, but no reasonable human being will deny the possibility of a new state of life in the process of development or evolution.

There are three interpretations of the last passage of this verse:
(i) The Holy Prophet is a warner and a guide for every nation.
(ii) The Holy Prophet is a warner and every nation had a guide.
(iii) The Holy Prophet is a warner and every nation has a guide.
In view of the above-noted tradition reported by a large number of Muslim scholars the last interpretation must be accepted.

The absolute infinite reality is the real light- light of lights, by which every being comes into light and in evidence, refer to An Nur: 35. The finite beings differ from each other to the extent of their limitations in the order of existence. He who has the least limitations is nearer to the absolute; and the one, who has more limitations than he, is his shadow, but, in the order of existence, he also has his own shadow- the being who has more limitations than he has. Thus every lower being is the shadow of Us immediate higher being, following in its movement unto the perfect light.

The parables in this verse refer to the process of creation of the finite beings from the infinite absolute; and to the momentary and transitory bearing and implication of ineffective, incompetent and parasitic things; and to the real and purposeful utility and durability of useful things. They also point out the course of divine revelations, and throw light on the reaction of man to it-they corrupt and misrepresent that which they have received, but whatever is divine and real remains and endures, and that which is unreal and corrupted disappears, as al Nahl: 96 says that what man has will pass, but what is with Allah will abide for ever.

It is applicable to the covenant taken at Ghadir Khum (see  Ma-idah: 67) and the "love of Ahlalbayt" mentioned in Shura: 23.

Refer to Anfal: 2. Tranquillity and fear are apparently opposite to each other. A true believer seeks tranquillity in the midst of conflicting desires of the worldly life and fears when he feels that there are many shortcomings in his submission to Allah. The remembrance of Allah produces these effects simultaneously in him and sets him free from all worldly worries.
Ali ibn abi Talib said:
"A true believer has no worry except about his failure to fulfil his duties to the Lord."

Ya-asi actually means despair, but it is sometimes used figuratively in the sense of knowing, because he who gives up hope knows that what he had hoped will not take place. Despair is here synonymous with knowledge.

Our view of the universe is similar to the two records of the creation-partial and complete. The partial view is the subject of empirical investigation, liable to change. The complete view is the subject of spiritual investigation, unimpeachable and final.

"The days of Allah" refers to any period in which a new development takes place in the course of evolution-the six days in which the process of creation of the heavens and the earth took place, the period of the geological changes, the rise and fall of the nations, any celestial or terrestrial changes, the intermediary stages to the day of resurrection and the life of the hereafter, and the events mentioned in the subsequent verses are all ayyamillah.

The hell will be in front of the evil-doers, but as they never look forward-they are involved in the immediate past or the present-the Quran uses wara which literally means "behind", because from the standpoint of application of the heart and mind their future is always behind them.

The satanic forces, their false promises and their self-proclaimed authority attract the attention of those who wilfully separate themselves from the true guidance of Allah made available to mankind through the Quran, the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt. Their response to Shaytan is purely their own choice, so they must suffer the consequences-a painful eternal chastisement.

Kalimatan tayyibah (a goodly word) is usually interpreted as the divine word, thought or deed, but, in a more general sense, it may be interpreted as a thought, word or deed of goodness of any other good and noble agency, other than Allah, which emanates from a true understanding and application of the religion of Allah-it is like a goodly tree which is firmly rooted and grows higher and higher with ever green branches, always yielding fruit; and the heavens is the limit.
Kalimatin khabithah (an evil word), likened to an evil tree, is the opposite of the goodly tree.

The opposite of the goodly tree mentioned in v 24 of this surah is the evil tree which has no root, no growth and no utility at all.
The parable of the goodly tree refers to Islam, the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt, and the evil tree refers to enemies of Islam, the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt.

There were selfish and ungrateful men who responded to Allah's favours with disobedience to Him and His Prophet. It refers not only to the disbelievers but also to those who did not fulfil the covenant they accepted as true and final at Ghadir Khum, and also led others astray.

The ancestors of the Holy Prophet ascending upto Ibrahim were free from the dirt of polytheism. All of them followed the creed of Ibrahim. The Holy Prophet claimed that Allah kept his ancestors upto Adam free from polytheism. The continuity of spiritual inheritance was severed whenever any one of them deviated from the path of true faith, like the son of Nuh about whom Allah has said that he was not the son (inheritor) of Nuh.

Some of Ibrahim's descendants might have been compelled under unavoidable circumstances to conceal their true faith, but Allah knows the truth. It is reported that Ibrahim himself concealed his true faith to avoid unnecessary complications as similarly Abu Talib did to save the Holy Prophet from the clutches of his enemies.

A thorough study of the verses of the Quran, read with several authentic traditions, supports the idea that in the evolutionary course the heavens and the earth will reach a stage known as the day of resurrection when the laws of time and space shall cease to apply. All the terrestrial and the celestial distances will disappear. There will be no past, present and future. All will be before the Lord together to be judged.

This verse gives answer to the accusation the disbelievers have made in v 6 of this surah. When the Quran is kept safe in its original purity the Holy Prophet is also protected from all types of ungodly influences. The Ahlalbayt are not only the custodians of the book of Allah but also they keep the true character of the Holy Prophet safe from distortion by the false traditions fabricated by some of his companions in order to bring him on the level of their heroes.

The Zodiac belt is the lowest heaven. The heavens above it are more spiritual than physical. Celestial factors effect the terrestrial events. Some of the determinative occurrences of the celestial realm manifest themselves before they produce an effect upon the terrestrial world. Those who delve in occult sciences rely upon these manifestations to foretell the future. Such attempts are not reliable because the radiating celestial bodies (shihabun mubin or shahab thaqib) prevent them from reading the actual consequences. The shooting star or flaming fire, most probably, is the continuous radiation from the celestial bodies which pierces into the terrestrial hemisphere. It may mean that the conjunctions of radiations from different celestial sources neutralise the effect of each other and it becomes immeasurable and incomprehensible to those who try to foretell the future.

Any other recitation other than alayya (unto Me) is wrong. There is no tahrif in the Quran. See my essay "The genuineness of the Holy Quran.''

Bil haqq, with reference to the creation of the heavens and the earth and that which is between them, means "with a purpose". See also Al Imran: 190; Muminun: 115; Rum: 27 and Sad 27 to know that the purpose of creation is the life of hereafter, because if there is no life of the hereafter the creation becomes meaningless. To say that life of this world is an end in itself is atheism. A vain and meaningless act is unworthy of an absolute, perfect and all-wise supreme being. After mentioning the punishment inflicted on the people of Lut and Thamud in this world the reference to the purpose of creation and the life of hereafter is a conclusion to warn the enemies of the Holy Prophet that the pleasures and comforts of the life of this world they were enjoying should be taken as a respite. A severe punishment is awaiting for them in the life of hereafter because the hour of judgement is surely to come. So the Holy Prophet should turn away from the disbelievers with a gracious pardoning and leave the matter to Allah who knows what to do with them.
When the enemy is overpowered "the mercy unto the world" overlooks their mischief with gracious forgiveness. There is no conflict between this verse and the verses dealing with jihad.

Real happiness lies in spiritual and intellectual pursuits and achievements. When such enduring bounties have been bestowed on a true believer he should not turn his eyes towards temporary sensual pleasures the disbelievers enjoy.

Though in amrullah the verb is past tense, but if this verse is read with Yunus: 47 it becomes clear that with the advent of the Holy Prophet the fate of the believers and the disbelievers was decided. Only its execution has to be carried out. So the disbelievers are warned not to seek to hasten it. Therefore it should be taken as present perfect .

Ayatollah Mahdi Pooya says:
The purpose of taking the responsibility of showing a straight way is to make the journey unto the destination easy for the people. There are crooked ways also. Allah does not force any one to follow the true way because He has given a free will to every human being who should study His signs as visible in nature as well as those expressed through revelation so as to walk on the true path. In His infinite mercy He has shown the right path and made it distinct in the midst of crooked paths.

The controlled and undeviating movement of the sun, the moons and the stars, under Allah's will and command, has been compared to the Holy Prophet and to his total obedience to His commands in v 1 to 4 of An Najm.

Refer to Ar Rad: 3 and Al Hijr: 19. It is a figure of speech, repeatedly used in the Quran, to speak of the earth as a stretched surface with mountains as a steadying agent to keep it from shaking. It may refer to the geological fact that the below the surface happenings would have shaken the earth if there were no mountains to keep it steady.
Imam Ali said:
"Allah has steadied the movement of the earth by bolting rocks in it."
"Allah bolted the earth with rocks to keep it from shaking."

It is an old excuse of the evil-doers to shift the responsibility of their actions to Allah by wilfully concealing the fact that He has given a free will to every human being, and sent His messengers with true guidance in every age to all peoples. see
al Baqarah:256 and Yunus:47.

Dhikr literally means to call back to memory, or in other words to have something in conscious mind. It has been used figuratively for a stimulus which brings an object into the focus of consciousness. To be conscious of Allah, the Quran, the other scriptures and the Holy Prophet has been described as dhikr.
Some commentators hold that here dhikr refers to the previous scriptures and ahlul dhikr refers to the Jews and the Christians, but it is certainly a bad example of misinterpretation because even an ordinary teacher of Islamic ideology would not command a Muslim to refer to the Jewish and Christian scholars to remove his doubts, leave alone the all-wise Lord of the worlds. Dhikr means to be conscious of Allah and ahl refers to those who are always conscious of Allah as asserted in An Nur: 37. Also dhikr means the Quran or the Holy Prophet and ahl refers to the people identified with the Holy Prophet and the Quran, thoroughly purified by Allah (Ahzab: 33) and are always with the Quran as per hadith al thaqalayn.

Some of the pagan Arabs called angels the daughters of Allah, because they, and others like them, could not have the awareness of reality beyond the material phenomena. They found males and females among the living beings, so, applying this theory, they took God (father) as male and the angels as females(daughters) .

There are wholesome drinks and food that can be had from the date-palm and the grapes, such as vinegar and other non-intoxicating drinks. If sakar is taken in the sense of fermented intoxicating drinks, even then this verse does not affect the prohibition.

Wahi, in its wider sense, is applicable to any knowledge or action (of a conscious being) which is not obtained by observation and experience.

Islam teaches man to be active and useful to himself and others. Self-denial and disinterestedness in the collective life are not encouraged by Islam.

Uthman ibn Mazun, one of the very early believers, said:
"I became a Muslim because of my friendship with the Holy Prophet, otherwise it was not a sincere avowal of belief; but when this verse was revealed I was with him and it changed my motivated and superficial declaration of faith into the "from the bottom of the heart" devotion to the religion of Islam. I went to Abu Talib and recited it before him. He said: 'O people of Quraysh! Follow Muhammad. You will achieve success and walk on the right path. He does not command you to do anything but what is right, virtuous and the best.' Then I went to Walid ibn Mughayra who, after hearing this verse said: 'Muhammad has said a very good saying; and if his God has said it then certainly it is an excellent virtue.'"
Abu Talib wholeheartedly believed in the truthfulness of his nephew and his teachings from the very beginning.

This verse enjoins fulfilment of all promises, undertakings, pacts or covenants particularly when Allah has been made the surety, provided they are not ungodly or contrary to Islamic injunctions as implied by the phrase ahdillah.

Bibi Zaynab, the daughter of Ali and Fatimah, quoted this verse before the Muslims who gathered in the streets of Kufa, when she was brought there after the martyrdom of Imam Husayn at Karbala. They had broken their covenant made with Allah and His prophet because they found one party more numerous than another and completely forgot that the vicissitudes of fortune was a test appointed by Allah.
The word ummat has been used here for imam as in al Baqarah: 143; Ali Imran: 104 and 110.

see  al Baqarah: 106; and Yunus: IS and 16, which deal with the true position of abrogation and changes in the Quran.
The doctrine of progressive revelation from age to age and time to time does not mean that Allah's fundamental law changes. It was sheer ignorance of the infidels to charge the messenger of Allah with forgery because the message as revealed to him was in different form from that which was revealed before, when the core of the truth is the same, for it came from Allah. This verse refers to the changes the Quran introduced in the teachings of the previous scriptures because of which the infidels thought that it was a forgery, and asserts that the same holy spirit (Jibra-il) has brought the revelation to the Holy Prophet.
The idea of abrogation in the recitation of the Quran is a misconceived theory which has been dealt with by me in my essay "The genuineness of the Holy Quran."

This verse clearly enjoins taqiyah-concealing belief in Allah under compulsion or duress but heart remaining firm in faith. Taqiyah is not hypocrisy.
Once the infidels of Makka subjected Ammar Yasir to unspeakable tortures for his belief in Islam and forced him to utter a word construed as recantation, though his heart never waved and he came back to the Holy Prophet at once, who consoled him for his pain and confirmed his faith.

Ibrahim has been referred to as an individual but described as ummat which cannot be interpreted in any other way but to say that "Ibrahim was indeed an Imam"-a distinctive person or a leader of mankind. In the Quran the word ummat has been used to refer to a distinctly distinguished person, or group, or a period of time or a position of space-to which attention is drawn.

In the Quran wisdom implies a gift or endowment of Allah given to His prophets and His chosen representatives (from among the ali Ibrahim) as explained in the commentary of Al Baqarah: 231, 269 ; Ali Imran: 48, 81, 101 to 115, 164 ; and Nisa: 54, 113; also refer to Luqman: 12; Ahzab: 34; Sad: 20; and Jumu-ah: 2. Those who follow them and use their wisdom can also invite people to the truth.
The Holy Prophet said:
"I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate."
Please refer to the introduction of al-Bara-at according to which only the Holy Prophet or Ali were entitled to preach the message of Allah.

In strictest equity the Quran allows those who have been wronged or oppressed to pay back in the same coin but the sufferer is not entitled to give a worse blow than is given to him. But those who have reached a higher spiritual level do not even do that. They restrain themselves, and are patient, and they forgive for the sake of Allah and in the way of Allah.

The terms ascension and descension are used to explain the order of creation and the movement of cognitive self through the various spheres of finite beings to the absolute and from there coming down again through the various spheres of abstract and spiritual beings, of more comprehensive nature, to the lowest finite world. This journey is intellectual as well as visual.
The intellectual journey is experienced by all seekers of truth with the help of spiritual faculties, not bound by the physical senses. The visual journey begins from the highest point of the intellectual achievement, using it as a base, and proceeds upwards through the various spheres of the spiritual beings to higher and still higher levels till it reaches the absolute, and again comes down to its base. There was no prophet who did not have this visual experience of ascension and descension, and, as said in al Baqarah: 253, each had it in keeping with his potential, during sleep or wakefulness or in a state in between them, once in a lifetime or often times as the Holy Prophet had done. being the superior-most of them all. Not only the Holy Prophet but also his divinely commissioned successors (the Imams of the Ahlalbayt) who, in soul and body, were from him and 11e from them, and all of them were of one and the same divine light and origin, had the visual experience of ascension to the absolute many a time,
The Quran in v 33 of Ar-Rahman says that man can cross the bounds of the heavens and the earth if he possesses the authority and has the power (knowledge of the laws enforced by Allah) to do so. Therefore the theories based on ignorance from the laws made by Allah should not
be given any importance when they are put forward to deny not only the physical ascension of the Holy Prophet but also all the miracles wrought by the prophets of Allah and His chosen representatives .
Besides Ali ibn abi Talib and the Imams of the Ahlalbayt, a great number of reliable companions and scholars such as Ibn Abbas, Ibn Masud, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, Hudhayfah and Ummi Hani have confirmed the disappearance of the Holy Prophet from his bed in the house of Ummi Hani. So far as the physical and the dimensional aspect of the journey is concerned, it was undoubtedly physical. There is no logical, reasonable and scientific argument to prove its impossibility. As the end of the ascension was the full realisation of the aosolute, while passing the boundaries of physical realm, under the influence of divine light, his whole physical aspect was totally spiritualised and transcended the properties of substance and corporeality. It was a total transcendence of the Holy Prophet into a spiritual entity. Descension means his reappearance in his physical form. Only those who know and believe that he was a light, the first created being, and the last and final messenger of Allah can understand his ascension to the farthest stage where Allah's cognition is achieved in the highest realm of creation, referred to in this verse as the masjid al aqsa, the environment of which is blessed by His signs shown to the Holy Prophet.
Many a traditionists and commentators has dealt with his ascension at length in detail. A few points discussed by the great scholar Tabrasi in his commentary, Majma-ul Bayan, are stated below.
"The physical ascension in the state of wakefulness has to be accepted. There is no doubt in it.
Some of the details given by the traditionists and commentators about what the Holy Prophet did and said during his ascension journey are not reasonable and in agreement with the articles of the faith. There is no room for any proper interpretation except that he visited the heavens, met all the prophets, saw paradise and hell, and fully comprehended the operation of the absolute omnipotent authority of Allah, but all that which is narrated about his talking to Allah seeing Him and sitting with Him on the arsh should be totally rejected because it is out-and-out anthropomorphism which is far from the glory and absoluteness of Allah.
Neither was his chest opened nor washed, because he was free from all evil (dirt), and if there was any spiritual dirt, washing with water would have not served the purpose. All this nonsense was evidently borrowed from anthropomorphist theories of the pagan and Christian creeds by the thoughtless narrators who thought that they should also attribute to their prophet all that which the others had done to their religious leaders."

Musa received the book (Tawrat) from Allah on a mountain. It was a miracle as the ascension of the Holy Prophet was a miracle. The object of both the miracles is to make known to the people that Allah is all-in-all, and He, as the omnipotent authority, controls all affairs.

The misery of the Jews lasted from the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus to the establishment of their state in 1948. If they again make mischief in the world, there will be no respite for them. It is a prophecy.

First the ascension of the Holy Prophet to the highest stage of the finite state, beyond which is nothing save absolute infinity, was stated, and then the partial book given to Musa was mentioned, and in this verse the Quran is introduced to man as the universal book of guidance, because it was revealed to a prophet who reached the highest perfection of qaba qawsayni aw adna (Najm: 9). Compared to all other books, sent down on other prophets whose ascension was upto lower stages, the Quran is the most comprehensive book of guidance and as perfect as the height to which the Lord of the worlds allowed His most beloved friend, the Holy Prophet, to ascend.

This verse refers to the following situations:
(i) Helplessness produces worry and anger. Losing the sense of equilibrium, sometimes man, in such a situation, feels disgusted and curses himself and his people as sincerely as he prays for good and blessings.
(ii) Ignoring the ultimate consequences, sometimes, man prays for immediate gains and advantages .
(iii) He also prays for forbidden things as he prays for lawful things.
In all such circumstances, if Allah accepts the prayers directed to Him, there will be unnecessary destruction, chaos and disorder, which He, as the most merciful and all-wise Lord, does not will.

In haste what man desires is compared to the obscurity of night which passes away. The sign of the night is the moon which does not possess any light of its own but reflects the light of the sun. Also its appearance is not regular. The sign of the day is the sun which radiates its own light. Also its appearance is regular, because of which we regulate the calculation of time, even if it is measured by the moon's revolutions.

In v 23 to 39 instructions have been given to regulate, harmonise and refine the human society so as to eradicate sharr (evil) and establish khayr (good) among the individuals in a community. They are turned into a source of wisdom revealed to the Holy Prophet in v 39, and then the belief in the absolute unity of Allah (monotheism) is mentioned which implies and carries in it all the virtues stated here and elsewhere in the Quran.

As stated above, after the revelation of this verse, the Holy Prophet gave the garden of Fadak to Bibi Fatimah.
Abd ibn Salih, a courtier, had reported that Mamun al Rashid wrote a letter to Abdullah ibn Musa to know his opinion about the issue of Fadak. Ibn Musa quoted the above noted tradition. Then Mamun returned the land of Fadak to the children of Bibi Fatimah. The land the Jews left without a heir was distributed by the Holy Prophet, as commanded by Allah (see Anfal: 1), with the consent of the ansar, among the muhajirin who had abandoned their properties in Makka and were almost living on dole. Many gardens and tracts of land, Bibi Fatimah inherited from her mother, Bibi Khadijah, were in and around Makka. Through this verse Allah directed the Holy Prophet to give Bibi Fatimah her due rights. So he gave her the garden of Fadak in fulfilment of her share as a muhajir and also included his own share in it. During the lifetime of the Holy Prophet the land of Fadak was in the active possession of Bibi Fatimah, but after the departure of the Holy Prophet from this world, the first caliph seized the land. The evidence of Ali, Hasan and Husayn and her own was rejected, notwithstanding their truthfulness made known to the people by Allah through Ali Imran: 61 and Ahzab: 33. Her claim as the inheritor of the Holy Prophet was also rejected. Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari inform us that Umar used to point out Ali and Abbas as those who branded him and his predecessor as usurpers and liars in connection with the property of Fadak, and neither Ali nor Abbas ever denied it. Bibi Fatimah, after this incident, never talked to Abu Bakr and Umar, and asked Ali not to allow them to attend her funeral prayers and burial. The confiscated property of Fadak was never used for the well-being of the people nor for the maintenance of the Muslim army.
Every Umayyid ruler treated the garden of Fadak as his personal property, except Umar ibn Abdul Aziz who, after making a thorough examination of the case, returned it to the Ahlalbayt. The Abbasi rulers again took it away from the Ahlalbayt and used it as their property, till Mamun al Rashid again conducted a thorough inquiry by a special court of jurists before which a follower of the Ahlalbayt advocated their case and the state attorney opposed his arguments. At the end Mamun wrote the judgement in the form of a royal edict, awarding the land to the Ahlalbayt, summary of which has been recorded by Balazuri in his famous book Futuhul Buldan. Ibn Abi Hadid has also given a brief account of the arguments, for and against, in his commentary of the Nahj al Balagha. Bibi Fatimah herself gave the strongest arguments in her favour in her address to the then ruling party. For full details refer to the "Biography of Bibi Fatimah Zahra", published by Peermahomed Ebrahim Trust.

Things are explained in the Quran from all points of view, individual and collective, by means of stories, parables, figures of speech, and by way of categorical commands. The purpose of the presenting the signs and arguments is to stimulate reaction. A few pay heed, but a large number turn away. As v 20 of this surah says the grace of Allah is bestowed freely on all irrespective of their reaction .

"But you do not understand their glorification" implies that there is something which is beyond the grasp of every being. Every being, in the order of existence, is more or less, endowed with some degree of life or consciousness, therefore the animate and inanimate should be understood in terms of the level of their awareness. The Imams of the Ahlalbayt say that the Quran refers to the fact that all men do not understand it.

There were spiritual barriers between the Holy Prophet and the disbelievers, because, inspite of what is stated in the preceding verse, they cut themselves off from the true nature and therefore were isolated from the messenger of Allah. The hidden veil, put by Allah between the Holy Prophet and them, sometimes made them unable to see him even when he was standing before them, while they were seeing other things.

The all conquering force of the Holy Prophet's words and deeds used to stupefy the disbelievers to such a degree that in helplessness they began to describe him as a man bewitched. They were simply unable to cope with the excellence of his character and the revelations revealed to him.
It is surprising that even some Muslims have fabricated a few traditions which report that he was enchanted by the Jews.

It is futile to worship prophets, angels and heroes, inspite of the fact that they are good and holy and near to Allah, because even they seek means of access or approach (wasilah) to Allah.
Some schools of thought view that obedience itself is the wasilah, but v 35 of al Ma-idah (see its commentary) does not agree with this point of view, as the believers are asked to seek wasilah besides taqwa, therefore obedience cannot be wasilah. The Quran and the Ahlalbayt teach us that the Holy Prophet's blessings and his prayer for forgiveness is a means of access or approach to Allah besides man's own deeds, because the Holy Prophet is the first and the foremost in the order of submission to and worship of Allah, being the seal of the prophets, and the superior-most among them. There are traditions, accepted by those scholars who do not follow the Ahlalbayt, which report that the companions of the Holy Prophet used to seek his prayers as the means of approach to Allah.

The infidels did not demand the miraculous signs (also mentioned in several verses of Al An-am and Al Furqan) to remove their doubts but to challenge the Holy Prophet in order to side-track the issue of worshipping only Allah and rejecting their false gods. In the same manner the ancient people (refer to the verses of Al Araf and Hud pertaining to Nuh, Shu-ayb, Salih and Musa) showed their aversion to the true teachings of their messengers and challenged them to bring down the wrath of Allah on them. They were punished and destroyed. The Holy Prophet's mission was universal. It was not confined to any particular community, place and time. Allah did not want to inflict perdition in response to the challenge of a few ignorant people on the whole human race. So the Holy Prophet did not resort to such a destructive course during his ministry except at the time of mubahilah when Allah commanded him to take the decisive step, but the Christians declined to accept the challenge (see Ali Imran: 61). The Quran clearly says that threats cannot be like the convincing signs with which every messenger of Allah was sent among his people to prove his divine messengership.
To prove that the interpretation of ayat (signs) as communication or message exclusively is not true, the example of she-camel, sent to the Thamud in the days of prophet Salih, has been given (see Araf: 73 to 79).
See the commentary of al Baqarah: 118 and 243 to know that it is a malicious attempt to deny the powers of the Holy Prophet when some translators interpret the verse as "We have not given you the power" .

The purpose of the revelation of this verse is to give comfort and encouragement to the believers in order to neutralise the effects of the disheartening events which had already happened, or were expected to happen. Allah encompasses the people. Such insignificant events do not affect His all -embracing authority and omnipotence. The dream or vision does not refer to mi-raj (see  verse I of this surah) because it was neither a disheartening event nor a trial for his ummah. It was a highest honour and glory bestowed on His habib (most beloved friend). The cursed tree also does not refer to zaqqam (Saffat: 62 to 65; Dukhan: 43 to 46 and Waqi-ah: 52) because hell and its contents are not cursed but are means made by Allah to punish the wicked. There is no authentic tradition to support that either the vision refers to the conquest of Makka (Fat-h: 27) or the battle of Badr (Anfal: 43). According to the Ahlalbayt it refers to the dream (monkeys sitting on the Holy Prophet's pulpit) which Allah showed to him about a tribe (Bani Umayyah) from among his followers who had destroyed the spirit of Islam after him; that was a time of trial for the true believers. The Holy Prophet saw in his dream that like those Jews who did not believe and were cursed by Dawud and Isa (Ma-idah: 78 and 79) his followers would also deviate from the right path. but would not be able to harm the true faith because his Ahlalbayt would he there to safeguard the religion of Allah from the mischief of the deviating monkeys.
The cursed tree may refer to the evil tree mentioned in Ibrahim: 26.
It is also a warning to the mischief-makers, but they pay no heed, and on the contrary they boldly transgress more and more.

With reference to the preceding verse it is implied in this verse that the mischief and deviation of the apostates, after the Holy Prophet, is comparable to the satanic arrogance and disbelief.
Man in his origin is free from all defects as asserted in At Tin :4- "We have created man in the best of moulds". The evil and deviation crept into the children of Adam through satanic agency. Therefore the concept of original sin introduced by the Christian Church is untenable.
Several verses of the Quran assert that those who deviate from the right path in lure of the worldly gains are not human beings at all; they are animals or even worse.

Allah has honoured the children of Adam (human beings) above other creatures (refer to v 60 to 69). It is a trial, result of which will be seen by all on the day of judgement as described in the next verse .

Commentators have variously interpreted the word imam as under:
(i) Scripture.
(ii) Prophet.
(iii) Leaders in every age.
(iv) Record of deeds.
(v) Mother.
The first three are better than the last two.
The scripture and the prophet on whom it was revealed are not separable. To follow a scripture means to follow the prophet who brought it to the people. Moreover both of them together take their true followers to salvation. Nowhere in the Quran or in the traditions it is stated that they may also lead their followers to hell, but it is said that there are two types of Imams-"We appointed Imams, from among them, to guide (mankind) by our command (Sajdah: 24); and "We made them Imams who invite to the fire (Qasas: 41). The Imams mentioned in Sajdah: 24, like the prophets, are not separable from the scripture, as declared by the Holy Prophet in hadith al thaqalayn (see page 6). They are his Ahlalbayt.
The Holy Prophet said:
"Whosoever dies without recognising the Imam of his age dies the death of a pagan."
After making it clear that there will be an Imam from his progeny in every age, he gave the number of Imams as twelve, neither more nor less. In fact it was a covenant Allah made with Ibrahim that among his descendants there would be twelve princes (Imams) in the progeny of Ismail. see Al Baqarah: 124.
This verse says that all human beings in groups shall be called with their respective Imams. The identity of the true Imams will be their inseparability with the scripture and the Holy Prophet- they will lead to eternal salvation. Those who opposed these Imams in their lifetime and installed themselves as the leaders or rulers without any divine authority shall be the leaders mentioned in Qasas: 41 who will lead their followers to hell because they opposed the book, the Holy Prophet and Allah.
On the day of resurrection the people will be divided in the following groups:
(i) Those who are most excellent and nearest to Allah.
(ii) Ashab ul maymanah-the followers of the book of Allah, the Holy Prophet and the Imams of his Ahlalbayt, the most excellent and nearest to Allah.
(iii) Ashab ul mash-amah-the opponents of the first and the second groups.
Refer to the opening verses of al waqi-ah.
Also see  al Baqarah: 143; Nisa: 41 ; Hud: 18 and 98; and Nahl: 84 and 89.

As a means may but when the nominative of this verb is Allah, it becomes a certainty.
Maqaman mahmuda implies such distinction which no other created being shares. All commentators agree that it is because of this authority of intercession the Holy Prophet will be given the standard of praise and glory (liwa-i hamd) under which all the prophets and angels will stand together.
Ahmad bin Hambal says:
"The Holy Prophet said: 'O Ali, I and you will have the honour to address them. You will hold my standard under which all the prophets will gather'."
The Holy Prophet will be the first and the foremost intercessor whose intercession will be accepted by Allah.

The most appropriate interpretation is to take it in a very wide sense so as to mean-to seek Allah's help in all movements, thoughts and feelings. As commanded by the Imams of Ahlalbayt every believer should also pray to Allah in these words.

Ruh has been used in the Quran in various meanings:
(i) The life or spirit breathed into Adam (Hijra: 29).
(ii) The life in every conscious being.
(iii) Isa is a word of Allah and a spirit (proceeding) from Him. (Nisa: 171).
(iv) The Quran as mentioned in Shura: 52.
(v) The spirit which comes down in the night of qadr with the angels (Quran: 4).
(vi) The spirit which will stand with the angels on the day of resurrection. (Naba: 38)
(vii) The holy ghost (Ma-idah: 11).
(viii) The spirit sent to Maryam which appeared before her as a man. (Maryam: 17).
Besides the Quranic use, the word spirit was in vogue among the pagans of Arabia, India, Europe, Africa and other places, attributing to the spirit all the aspects and happenings they could not explain in terms of cause and effect. The reference here is not particular but to that which is unseen and immeasurable but present in human body as an active agent which gives awareness to man, not obtainable through observation and experiment, or produces extraordinary happenings in human society and other physical realms .
The ancient philosophers had diverse opinions about the spirit in its general sense and did not have a clear definition. They were not sure whether it is created or uncreated. Some Indian and Greek schools of thought expounded the idea that both spirit and matter are uncreated, therefore the existence of a third agent, who controls these two as God, was a disputed issue among them. They also disputed whether there is one spirit manifesting in various ways in the nature, or every individual or every species has a spirit of its own; and whether it is an undimensional conscious entity influencing the dimensional relation, or it is also dimensional but not having the characteristics of matter-a very fine ethereal objective reality.
The issue has been dealt with by the various schools of thought in Islam by relying, more or less, on the theories of Greek, Indian and Persian philosophers. According to some commentators the answer is evasive because Allah says in this verse that the spirit is a matter of concern for Allah only and human knowledge is not sufficient to understand it. Some commentators say that the answer is there because as an outcome of Allah's command spirit should be treated as created, and its nature is all-pervading like the nature of the divine command, assuming appropriate form and character in every stage and every realm, sometimes dimensional and sometimes undimensional. In other words the spirit, the active agent in the universe and in the order of creation, is the outcome of the divine will, not conditioned by any particular character or limitation, like the radiation coming from its source, which is not conditioned at all by the character of the ground on which it falls, but the reflection or the effect produced by the radiation is conditioned by the character of the ground, material or non-material. It is from this viewpoint the spirit has been termed by the scholars as material or non-material.
What proceeds from Allah is undimensional and non-material, which, when produces effect in material beings, becomes material; and, when produces effect in non-material realm, becomes non-material. The factor responsible for animal function is termed "spirit", and the mind itself is termed "spirit" because it produces effects and reflections known as knowledge; and what proceeds from Allah to give knowledge and awareness to human mind is also "spirit". Any effect or reflection produced by the agencies other than material factors, can be termed as spirit, or angels, or the hand of Allah. This is the interpretation of this verse in view of the traditions narrated from the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt. Human knowledge is not sufficient to understand the true nature of "spirit".

When the people of the town found one of the ashab ul kahf in the market who went there to buy food they wanted to know who he was. He told them their story. They went with him to the cave. The man went inside in advance and informed his comrades that the emperor with his scholars is coming to see them. They fell prostrate before Allah and prayed that the sleep might come over them again. So when the royal entourage came in they were asleep. They decided to build a masjid over them. The act of giving recognition to the men of God has been appreciated by the Quran. To build a masjid over the graves of men of God or to treat the place where they are buried as a place of worship of Allah is permissible according to v 21. On this basis the tawaf of hajr of Ismail, known as hajr al aswad, close to the Ka-bah, is obligatory during the performance of hajj.
According to a few schools of thought in Islam the Holy Prophet issued orders contrary to the implication of this verse. They quote the following traditions:
(i) Allah has cursed the Jews and the Christians for adopting the graves of their prophets as masjids (place of worship). Do not make my grave a place of worship.
(ii) The Christians have chosen the place where their saints are buried as objects of worship. You should not do as they do.
(iii) Do not glorify me as the Christians glorify Isa.
Even if these traditions are authentic, they do not in any way repeal the permissibility of worshipping Allah near or on the grave of a chosen servant of Allah. They only warn the people not to treat the servants of Allah like the Lord to whom they had submitted unconditionally in their lives. The place where a chosen servant of Allah is buried becomes a sacred place which makes the worshipper of Allah remember Allah in a more favourable and spiritual environment than anywhere else. There is no restriction on the devotees of Allah to avoid any blessed place for His worship. In order to save the Muslims from falling into the pit of shirk (polytheism), it has been made obligatory to recite tashahud in every salat. There is no god save Allah and Muhammad is His servant and His messenger, and blessings of Allah be on Muhammad and his Ahlalbayt. There is no possibility of adopting any created being as an object of worship, beside Allah, when a Muslim repeats tashahud in every salat, which makes it clear that even the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt, inspire of their highest status, are created beings, therefore there is none equal to Him and He alone is the sole object of worship. The Quran gives permission to remember the chosen servants of Allah as sincere worshippers of Allah. To pay homage to them, bowing and prostrating before them, as the angels were commanded to prostrate before Adam (Baqarah: 34) or the family of Yusuf prostrated before him (Yusuf: 100), is not prohibited, because worship (ibadat) depends on intention, and the intention of a true Muslim can never be their worship which is for Allah alone.

If you wish to do anything do not say: "I shall certainly do it", without adding: "Inshallah (if Allah wills)". It is a general directive to every true believer. He must not depend on his own will
and ability for the successful completion of his action, but rely on the will of Allah however strong may be his will-power and ability, because complete submission to the will of Allah is Islam.
Remember Allah whenever you neglect or postpone any decision; because He alone is able to direct you to the truth of the matter rightly.

The Holy Prophet, who only followed the revelations (Najm: 4), never paid any attention to the loose talk of those who have been referred to in this verse, in Al Qalam: 10 to 15 and in the early verses of al Ahzab.
The qualities described in this verse refer to the ulil amr whose obedience has been made obligatory. see Nisa: 59.

In v 79 Khizr says: "I intended to damage it (the boat)"; in v 81 he says: "We intended that their Lord would give them in exchange (a son) better in purity"; and in v 82 he says: "So your Lord intended that they should attain their maturity." In the end he says: "I did it not of my own accord."
The reason for taking the responsibility of damaging the boat in v 79, is not to attribute such an act to Allah as a matter of courtesy. In v 81 the slaying of the boy deprived him of his life but it was a service to his parents, therefore "we" is used. The deprivation refers to Khizr and the advantage refers to Allah. The act referred to in v 82 is purely good, so it has been attributed to Allah exclusively. Khizr's statement is based upon the fact that every manifestation has a cause in the final analysis. In v 79 he refers to himself as the causative agent; in v 81 he takes the apparent and the real causes into consideration; and in v 82 by stating that "he did not do anything" he discards human or any created agency and points towards the real author of all events. Whatever takes place is a divine blessing in disguise even if the manifestation is apparently not favourable to an individual or a group of individuals. The knowledge of even those who have received divine revelation is not all-encompassing, and is limited according to the excellence Allah bestowed on them as mentioned in v 253 al Baqarah and explained in the commentary of Bani Israil: 1.

Qarn literally means a distinctive mark in a man, animal or thing which is distinguished and known by it. Therefore any person who possesses two such distinctive qualifications is described as dhul qarnayn. Whether Dhul Qarnayn was Alexander or Darius or some one else is not the issue in these verses but the Quran aims to provide guidance to man through the narrative of a man who possessed two qualities, knowledge and strength, like Talut. Dhul Qarnayn was an upright and righteous king, a true servant of Allah, whose sway extended over east and west, and over people of diverse civilisations. His first expedition was to the west. A spring of murky water refers to Lychintis (now Ochrida). There he protected the weak and punished the unlawful and the turbulent.
He possessed the qualities, a god-fearing man must own, to administer the affairs of men. Great was his power and great were his ways and means which he used for justice and righteousness, but he always remembered that his power and capabilities were given to him by Allah. He never said like Firawn: "I am your Lord, most high." He declared that his punishment to the wicked was tentative to preserve the balance of this life as he could appraise it but the real consequences of the evil-doing will be encountered by the evildoers on the day of judgement.
Then he went to the east. Those who lived there were a primitive but simple people. The climate was hot, and they required neither roofs over their heads, nor much clothing. He did not disturb their simple mode of living. He left them as they were. Dhul Qarnayn was a man of God. He was not a despot who would forcibly change that which he did not find agreeable to him. He knew his limitations in the sight of his Lord.
Then he reached a tract between two mountains (most probably Armenia and Azerbaijan). The people of this land did not understand the speech of the conqueror. Dhul Qarnayn was now among a people who were different in speech and race from him. They were a peaceable and industrious race, much subject to incursions from wild tribes who were called Yajuj and Majuj (Gog and Magog). Against these tribes they were willing to pay him tribute in return for protection. The permanent protection they wanted was the closing of a mountain gap through which the incursions were made. Dhul Qarnayn was not greedy. He did not impose any tribute, nor was he in need of monetary help or subsidy from them. He had the organising skill. He only asked for material and labour. A barrier was constructed with blocks or bricks of iron, and the cracks were filled up with molten lead, so as to form an impregnable mass of metal. After all the effort which he made for their protection, he claimed no credit for himself beyond that of discharging his duties as a ruler. He turned their attention to Allah who provided the ways and means by which they could be helped and protected, but a time would come when all their precautions would crumble into dust, because it was a promise of Allah.

The theoretical and practical fundamentals of faith have been summed up in this verse:
(i) The messengers of Allah were human beings but they were sent to convey the message of Allah to other human beings. The revelations revealed. to them had exalted them above all the created beings. see  Bani Israil: 1. It would be an evil thought if the Holy Prophet who reached the highest stage of qaba qawsayni aw adna (two bows or yet nearer) nearness to Allah (Najm: 9), is brought to the level of ordinary human beings by the misguided votaries of his companions.
(ii) Tawhid-Oneness of Allah.
(iii) Every one shall meet the Lord, so man should do good, and in the obedience of the Lord should not associate any one as His partner.

These verses prove that the prophets of Allah inherit and leave inheritance. To interpret "Warith" as reference to knowledge and wisdom only is a deviation from the real, direct and plain meaning of this word, without any external or internal evidence. If inheritance of personal belongings is excluded, the repetition of the verb becomes meaningless because Zakariyya himself was a descendant of ali Yaqub, who inherited the prophethood and wisdom of his ancestors, and his son would do the same if Allah so willed as He chooses whomsoever He wills as His messenger (An-am: 124), therefore Zakariyya said: "inherit me and inherit ali Yaqub". Zakariyya is referring to his belongings and the belongings of the posterity of Yaqub separately. The first verb refers to the inheritance of his property which Zakariyya thought would be appropriated by his relatives if he remained childless; and the second verb refers to the prophethood, he wanted for Yahya, for which there was no need to fear that it would be taken by any one. v 16 of An Nahl confirms that which has been explained here.
No doubt the prophets of Allah did not give any importance to the material possessions and laid emphasis on the knowledge and wisdom, but it does not mean that they did not possess property or did not leave what they had as inheritance to their next to kin. The tradition quoted to deprive Bibi Fatimah of her lawful inheritance was tampered with by the narrator for political reasons. He omitted a clause indicating that they leave knowledge as inheritance, and added a clause, which is not correct from the grammatical point of view, unless it is an objective clause subordinate to the principal clause "We the group of prophets", and the word be read as "sadaqtan", the second object to the verb "taraknahu ", but he read the clause as co-ordinative and conjunctive, and read "sadaqtan" as the predicate to the word "ma", which according to the recitation means "whatever", whereas according to the correct recitation "ma " means "that which".

According to the Ahlalbayt, the names of Muhammad, Ali, Hasan and Husayn were also chosen for the first time under divine inspiration.
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq said:
"Before Yahya and Husayn, no one was ever named by either of their names.
For no one the heavens wept for forty days save Yahya and Husayn.
The murderers of Yahya and Husayn were illegitimate. The heads of both of them were severed from their bodies and displayed in the streets and the courts which (according to Imam Husayn) prove the worthlessness of this world in the estimation of Allah. The head of Yahya was presented before the depraved wife of the Egyptian king and her pervert daughter and the head of Husayn was presented to the sons of whores.")
("The heavens wept" means the sun became extraordinarily red according to the Imam).

In dawat dhil ashirah Ali ibn abi Talib was the only person who came forward in response to the call of the Holy Prophet:
"Who among you will help me and join me in my task, and be my brother, my lieutenant, my vicegerent and my successor?"
So then and there the Holy Prophet declared: "Verily Ali is my brother, my vicegerent and my successor. From this day it has been made obligatory upon every one to obey the superior authority of Ali." Please see  Ali Imran: 52 and 53. In view of this verse and v 46 of Ali Imran no sincere Muslim is in a position to bypass the vicegerency of Ali on the ground that he was at the time a very young boy. Likewise the imamah and wilayah of Imam Muhammad bin Ali at Taqi and Imam Muhammad bin Hasan al Qa-im cannot be disputed on account of their age in presence of these verses in the Quran.
Refer to v 1 to 4 of Ar Rahman to know that Allah Himself taught wisdom to the Holy Prophet because of which the word ummi has been used in the Quran (see  al Baqarah : 97.

In addition to their apparent meanings, the east (in this verse) and the west (in v 44 of Qasas) imply reference to the distinctive aspects of the missions of Isa and Musa. The mission of Isa which laid greater emphasis on the spiritual perspective of the human life has been compared to the east from where the light of guidance emanates; and the mission of Musa which dealt with the temporal issues pertaining to the human society has been compared to the west where the light of guidance completes its purpose. In this sense the sentence "neither of the east nor of the west" refers to the mission of the Holy Prophet which is not localised. It is neither of the east nor of the west. It is universal.

Some commentators, with ulterior motives, translate fa as "and" and ruh as "inspiration", in order to indicate that Maryam did not conceive Isa through the divine light but it was a man of flesh and blood who gave her a son. It is done to deny the miraculous birth of Isa in particular and miracles wrought by Allah through His messengers in general. They say that the spirit appeared before Maryam in her vision; and on this basis deny the physical ascension (mi-raj) of the Holy Prophet. For such people the Quran says:
"As to those who do not believe in the hereafter, their (stubborn) hearts are unyielding (to the truth), and they are arrogant" (Nahl:22)

Many Christian scholars have failed to understand the term "O sister of Harun", although, according to the Bible, Maryam and Zakariyya's wife were related to each other, and Zakariyya's wife was a descendant of the house of Harun. Generally any female belonging to a family is described as a sister or daughter of the head of the family. The Quran and the Bible assert that Maryam and Zakariyya's wife were the descendants of Harun, the brother of Musa, a prophet of God, and through him belonged to the tribe of Levi, noted for virtue and piety, and not to the house of Dawud. In order to remove the discrepancies between the two genealogies, given in Matthew and Luke, the Christian Church wrongly tries to establish that one refers to Maryam and the other refers to Joseph, the alleged husband of Maryam, which is entirely based upon conjecture and is against the clear wordings of the Quran and the Bible.

As said in Ali Imran: 19 and in several other verses of the Quran the various groups of the people of the book, including the Muslims, differ among themselves because on account of their rebellious tendency, created in them by the devil (Shaytan), they deny and bypass the unequivocal announcements of Allah.

In v 84 of Shu-ara Ibrahim prays to Allah to appoint a truthful tongue for him in his latest generation. The earlier generation of Ibrahim, the Israelite branch, in which many prophets of Allah were appointed, had not been selected by Allah, after prophet Isa to be honoured with prophethood. The Ismaelite branch, his latest generation, began with the Holy Prophet and continued through Ali ibn abi Talib upto Imam Mahdi al Qa-im. see al Baqarah: 124. The mood and manner of this prayer is also present in his prayer mentioned in al Baqarah: 127 to 129 and in the prayers of Ishaq  and Yaqub and other prophets of Allah-the appointment of a truthful tongue to represent them all.
Is aliyyan, in v 50, an adjective qualifying the tongue, or the second object of the verb ja-alna? However, unless a particular person is implied by the truthful tongue, aliyyan does not belong here. Therefore it must be read as "the truthful tongue", the sublime and exalted Ali ibn abi Talib; or Ali be taken as a proper noun. There is no difference between these two alternatives because he was not only ali by his name but also, in all aspects of his personality, he was ali in the real sense of the adjective. He was created ali by the aliyyul ala, the highest high, the Lord of the worlds. As the gate to the city of knowledge (the Holy prophet) he was the "truthful tongue" of all the previous prophets of Allah, because whoever represents the Holy Prophet represents all the prophets of Allah. Therefore he is rightly known as the kitabullah al natiq, the speaking book of Allah.
Mukhlasan, in this verse, means one who has been liberated from all the taints and fetters of the unspiritual inclinations. Nabi (prophet) is he who receives communication from Allah; and rasul (messenger) is he who is sent to mankind by Allah to convey His message. Every rasul is necessarily a nabi, but every nabi is not necessarily a rasul. Therefore if nabuwwat ends, there is no room for any rasul.

Ayman and maysarah, maymanah and maysarah, yaman and shimal, are opposite terms used in the Quran, literal translation of which is right and left, but they mean blessed and cursed respectively. Ayman always refers to godliness and aysar refers to worldliness.
This verse refers to the ascension of Musa to the suitable state of communion with Allah according to his devotedness to Him. see Bani Israil: 1

In the state of ascension (refer to v 52) Allah informed Musa that his prayer (Ta Ha: 25 to 36) had been accepted (Taha: 36), and Harun was made a prophet. Likewise Ali was appointed as the successor of the Holy Prophet at the time of his ascension (see Bani Israil: 1). Ali was not a prophet because prophethood terminated in the Holy Prophet as the religion of Allah was completed on the day of Ghadir when the Holy Prophet, under the command of Allah, established the wilayah and imamah of Ali ibn abi Talib, so there was no need of any prophet after the Holy Prophet (see Fatihah: 7). Therefore Ali was an Imam (see al Baqarah: 124).

As said in the commentary of Bani Israil: 1, all the prophets of Allah had their ascensions according to the degree of their devotedness to Allah. So v 57 says that Idris was also raised to a high position. This raising to the closeness or nearness of Allah is termed as wilayah, without which no one could be honoured with prophethood.

After mentioning all the prophets from Adam to Isa and their sincere followers who were obedient and God-fearing and devout worshippers of Allah, it is said that in their posterity there were people who abandoned His worship and followed lusts, except those who have been true believers whose attitude and rewards are described in v 60 to 63. v 32 of al Fatir refers to these believers as those chosen persons who were foremost in good deeds upon whom Allah had bestowed His highest grace.
The word unseen (gayb) in v 61 suggests that the pleasures of paradise or hardships of hell, mentioned in the Quran, are not like the pleasures and pains of the world. It is a figurative description to give a general idea to man whose senses are not able to perceive the true state of affairs in the life of hereafter. For this very reason the phrase "morning and evening" has been used in relative sense in v 62, so as to be comprehended by us, as there will be no actual sunset in paradise.

Every soul must pass through or by or over the fire, but v 101 to 107 of Anbiya exclude those who are the first and foremost in receiving the blessings and grace of Allah, a group clearly mentioned in Waqi-ah: 10 and 11 . Also see  v 58 to 63 of this surah. The two other groups, people of the right hand and the people of the left hand (Waqi-ah: 8 and 9) shall be gathered round the hell and they will pass through or by or over the hell, but the people of the right hand will come out of it to go into paradise, and the people of the left hand, the unjust, will abide in hell for ever.

Whosoever is in error, Allah prolongs his span of life as much as He likes because the respite does not give him any advantage until he sees that which has been promised, either the chastisement in this world or the hour of doom (resurrection). Then he will know who is worst in position and weakest in forces. The phrase fal yamdud (shall prolong) appears to be imperative. The real sense is "let him do", a challenge, but actually it is a conditional clause meaning "even if Allah prolongs". There is no promise of prolonging the life span of those who are in error. v 96 of al Baqarah throws light on the actual meaning of this verse which is "whosoever is in error Allah shall allow him sufficient respite."

According to the holy Imams (among the Ahlalbayt) the Holy Prophet used to worship Allah through prayers every night, almost all the night, for ten years. Refer to surah Muzzammil also. Then Allah sent down this verse to console him and his devout followers when the attitude of the disbelievers and the slow progress of the divine mission cast a gloom upon them. They prayed day and night for the triumph of the religion of Allah.

Arsh is the symbol of authority of the almighty, all-wise and eternal sovereign. Istawa means the perfect and complete hold and sway over all that which has been created by al hayy al qayyum creator. The whole universe is encompassed by the arsh (the divine authority). The divine attention is universal and equitable everywhere-in the heavens, on the earth and in between them, never more or less.
He who created the universe and owns it is mentioned here as AR RAHMAN, the beneficent, the most gracious, because His mercy and grace encompasses all that which have been created by Him. Refer to the introduction of al Fatihah and commentary of al Fatihah: 1.

Ali ibn abi Talib says in Nahj al Balagha that the fear mentioned in v 67 felt by Musa was not the fear of the serpents, nor was Musa afraid of the harm that could occur to him but he was apprehensive of the possible confusion that could mislead the people. v 70 and 71 indicate that miracles are real whereas sorcery is unreal and lasts a few moments only.

Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said:
"Then let himself (remain) guided" means "remain faithful and completely attached to the Ahlalbayt". By Allah, if a man worships Allah all his life between the holy Ka-bah and the maqam of Ibrahim without remaining attached to us, Allah will throw him headlong in the hell when he dies.
the grant of manna wa salwa. Also refer to the Hakim has mentioned the above narration as a tradition through his own chain-of narrators; and Ayyashi has also mentioned it through several chains of narrators.

The questions Musa asks in v 92 and 93 and the reply Harun gives in v 94 are used as a medium to make the position of Harun clear by making known the fact to the people that Harun prevented them from falling a prey to Samiri's guile and discharged his duty of guiding them to the right path. He did not want to cause a division among the children of Israil.

All infringements in the unity of a religion are made by mixing half truth; with imposture. It played a very important role in the development of various sects in Islam.

The knowledge acquired through the faculties of the senses by the finite being can never comprehend the Infinite Supreme Being.

Verses 113 and 114 and v 32 of Furqan, 4 of Muzzammil and 16 to 19 of Qiyamah refer to the recitation of the Quran-Quran means recitation-and the pronoun wahyuhu refers to the recitation, implying: "Do not hasten with the recitation of the book already revealed to you before you receive the command to recite i.e. "When We recite it, you follow the reciting thereof (Qiyamah: 18)" and in a manner mentioned in v 4 of Muzzammil-tartila, with ease and correctness. Refer to my essay "Genuineness of the Holy Quran."

Adam was advised not to approach the tree if he wanted to live in the blissfulness he was in, otherwise he would have to leave it and go into the world to face its hardship and its tests and trials. Adam apparently chose the life of the world. see Baqarah: 30 to 38; Araf: 11 to 25; Hijr: 28 to 42; Bani Israil: 61 to 65 and Kahf : 50.
All his needs and comforts had been provided for in the life of bliss Adam and Hawwa were living in, but there is no mention of the heavenly bliss (the nearness and the pleasure of Allah) described as the greatest enjoyment in v 15 of Ali Imran and v 72 of Bara-at. Shaytan had no idea of such a place. He only saw the comforts of the place Adam was inhabiting and, out of spite and vengeance, decided to take him out from there and throw him in the land of test and trial, toil and hardship. Those who fail to understand the story of Adam should study the following facts to have a clear view:
Adam and his progeny were sent in this world to fulfil the covenant they made with Allah. For those who followed the guidance sent down by Allah it was a blessing.
Adam was created to represent Allah on the earth as His vicegerent (Baqarah: 30). His stay in the place of bliss (not the paradise) was temporary. Adam was not a weak-willed being who even was not able to control himself when Shaytan lured him through his wife. Certainly Allah would not choose such a weakling as His vicegerent whom the angels had to accept as their superior (Baqarah: 31 and 32). Allah has created man in the best mould (Tin: 4), and on account of this superiority He commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam (Baqarah: 34).
Ibrahim was chosen as an Imam for the whole mankind when he passed the test (Baqarah: 124). Adam established his superiority over the angels when he displayed the knowledge of the names Allah taught to him (Baqarah: 31). Adam also passed the test. Therefore the behaviour of Adam should be understood in the light of the test after completion of which he was appointed as the vicegerent of Allah. V 40 and 42 of Hijr; 65 of Bani Israil; 51 of Maryam and 33 of Ahzab assert that Shaytan has no authority over those servants of Allah who have been freed from the taint of evil and purified; and Adam was one of them, so there was no question of Shaytan misleading Adam after he was selected as the vicegerent of Allah. As Imam Ali bin Musa ar Ridha has pointed out these events (of test and trial) took place in the place of bliss where Adam was not yet aware of the names, therefore was not yet chosen as the vicegerent of Allah.

In the light of v 77 of Furqan this verse indicates that the respite is allowed by Allah to give a chance to the people to amend their behaviour, turn repentant to Allah, avoid evil and do good by constantly remembering Allah and invoking His mercy and forgiveness.

Man tries to perceive Allah in the light of his own thoughts, feelings and urges, therefore, he thinks that like him, Allah also takes pleasure in fun and frolic and created the creation for His amusement as the "authorities" in his society amuse themselves with women, children and other sensuous pleasures. If at all the purpose is amusement, what amuses Allah is quite different from that which amuses man. v 18 asserts the seriousness of the purpose.
Mimma tasifun (what you ascribe) refers to the false belief of associate-gods (Anbiya: 22), begotten son (Anbiya: 26) and Allah's daughters (Nahl: 57).

In this verse walad has been used as a gerund, not as a noun-They say: "Arrahman has taken to begetting." The reference is to the belief of the pagans that angels, priests and kings were the sons and daughters of God.

As the authority of Allah operates in justice, the reward and punishment will be awarded as it ought to be with measurable exactitude, for which a scale is necessary, a scale that can appraise the nature of the thing judged. For example to judge a thought, whether it is good or evil, a scale, different from the scale which weighs the weight of a material object, is required. Such scales should be infallible. They are those who have been selected by Allah.
"Verily We sent Our messengers with clear proofs, and sent down with them the book and the scale, that people may establish themselves in justice."
(Hadid: 25)
The Holy Prophet said:
"The love of Ali is the scale of faith, and hostility unto him is the scale of hypocrisy."
Abu Talib said:
"Muhammad is the scale of truth which weighs the minimum as well as the maximum weight ."

Since the Holy Prophet declared that Ali was to him as Harun was to Musa it should follow as an irrefutable corollary that whatever was granted to Musa was granted to Muhammad, and whatever was granted to Harun was granted to Ali. see Baqarah: 51; Bara-at: 41 and 42; Ta Ha: 9 to 98 and Maryam: 53.

As also said in Saba: 10- "O mountains! Sing the praises of Allah with him (Dawud), and you birds (also)"-the mountains and birds, animate and inanimate beings, are subservient to the chosen representatives of Allah.

Allah taught Dawud the making of coats of mail which is a defensive armour, therefore is associated with righteousness in Saba: 10 and 11 (wherein it is also said that Allah made the iron soft for Dawud) in contrast with the deadly weapons which man invents for offensive purposes. All fighting unless in defence of righteousness is mere violence.

Ummat may figuratively be interpreted as nation, community, or religion, but the proper meaning of the word in this verse is "group"-"This i9 your group", the group to be followed by the believers. see  Baqarah : 143, according to which the true interpretation of Ummat is "Imams". True service to the cause of Allah cannot be done without a guide (Imam). By not following the true Imams of the Ahlalbayt, as said in v 93 people divided themselves in several sects. They shall come before Allah with their leaders on the day of judgement. see Bani Israil: 71.

The false gods referred to in v 98 have also been mentioned in v 29 of this surah. Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq said:
"The Holy Prophet said that whosoever makes people to obey him under duress while there is among people a person who is more learned and pious than he, is an impostor, gone astray."

Khalqin may be an infinitive, i.e. creation, but it can also be a noun, i.e., creature. Here it means "creature", otherwise the use of the word "first" (awwal) with the verb "began" or "started" (badana) would be meaningless or immature. "As we started the first creature we will return it" is the true translation. Therefore there is an order in the system or process of creation, about which there are traditions as to which was the first creature in the order of creation.

Balagh means conveyance or transportation, or to carry or conduct a person or a thing to its destiny. As the rabbul alamin, it is the will of Allah that every human being should develop his ability and reach his destiny. Therefore the task of every prophet, as the manifestation of His rububiyat, is to carry or conduct every human being to his destiny.

By presenting the Holy Prophet as the mercy unto the worlds it has been clearly asserted that he is the first and the foremost in the order of creation who was selected to convey the mercy of Allah to every created being. The entire existence of the Holy Prophet is the first and the continuous manifestation of the rububiyat of the rabbul alamin. The whole process of creation implies the circular process of descension and ascension of the person of the Holy Prophet for the purpose of universal blessings.

This verse refers to those who dispute about Allah, His attributes, His actions, His laws and His authority on the basis of conjecture and follow every rogue and ruffian who has rebelled against Allah.

To prove the ultimate resurrection the Quran refers to the evolutionary development of man in the womb and the beautiful growth of all vegetable life on the earth when Allah pours down rain on it without which it would remain dead and barren. The process of change from one state to another is evolutionary as well as retrogressive.
All that which has been described in v 5 points to the absolute reality of one supreme, almighty and perfect creator.

Every movement, howsoever continuous, comes to an end; and every subsequent stage of development is latent in the preceding structure.

Stretching a rope to heaven refers to the attempts of the materialists who try to understand and explain the working of the universe from the standpoint of their theories and deny the existence of spiritual life and God, just as Firawn asked one of his courtiers to think of a plan to ascend to the heavens in order to find out if there is any God or not.

The assurance of continuous help from Allah to the Holy Prophet and the prophecy of his victories over the infidels are clear signs of Allah which serve as guidance for those who are willing to accept the guidance.

It is a well-known fact, unanimously agreed by almost all the Muslim scholars, that Ali was the first and foremost among the party of Allah, so he who was his opponent should belong to the party of falsehood. On this basis Ibn Abbas said that as the first and the foremost leader of those who have been addressed as believers in the Quran Ali is the main person who is referred to as the chief of them in all such verses.

Hajj is described as mash-had, a place to be present and attend the meeting to witness universal advantages. Id prayers have also been described by the holy Imams of the Ahlalbayt as a general place for witnessing or meeting in this sense.
Imam Ali bin Musa ar Rida said:
"The two rakats have been replaced by the two sermons in Friday prayers because on Friday a general meeting or witnessing takes place."
The congregational devotion and worship gives an opportunity to the believers to meet and know each other better, to pay homage to their leader (Imam), and to receive guidance from him or from his representative.

Compared to the highly exalted, sensible and conscious man who does not submit to any authority other than Allah's, is the lifeless deviator, ready to accept any authority, who would be torn to pieces by vultures and carried away by the winds to fathomless abyss.

To honour and respect the signs of Allah such as
(i) kissing the hafr al aswad,
(ii) circumambulating round the Ka-bah,
(iii) running to and fro between Safa and Marwa,
(iv) and pelting stones at the three places in Mina, are, in a way, the worship of Allah, so acts like above should not be confused with idolatrous practices and rituals. As explained in the commentary of v 5 of al Fatihah to employ ways and means, in contravention to Allah's orders, even to worship Him, is prohibited. When commanded by Him the angels fell prostrate before Adam because compliance with His command is His worship.

Fiha (in them) refers to the divine signs and rites concerning the pilgrimage, which also include the sacrifice of animals. It is wrong to think that the pronouns fiha and mahilluha refer to sacrifice only, because the place of sacrifice is not the ancient house (Ka-bah) but Mina. All the rites of pilgrimage end with the last circumambulation of the Ka-bah.

This verse and v 45 indicate that in the case of some wrongs the wrongdoers are caught while doing the wrong and in some cases they are given a respite but caught afterwards. In any case they will not escape punishment.

Some pagans and hypocrites planned secretly to recite words praising idolatry alongside the recitation of the Holy Prophet, while he was praying, in such a way that the people would think as if they were recited by him. Once when the Holy Prophet was reciting v 19 and 20 of Najm one of the pagans recited: "Tilkal gharani-ul ula wa inna shafa-atahuma laturja"-(These are the lofty (idols), verily their intercession is sought after.) As soon as this was recited the conspirators shouted in delight to make the people believe that it was the Holy Prophet who said these words. Here, the Quran is stating the general pattern the enemies of the messengers of Allah followed when they were positively convinced that the people were paying attention to the teachings of the messengers of Allah and sincerely believing in them. They would mix their false doctrines with the original teachings so as to make the divine message a bundle of contradictions. This kind of satanic insertions are referred to in thus verse, and it is supported by Ha Mim: 26. It is sheer blasphemy to say that satanic forces can influence the messengers of Allah. The Quran has repeatedly asserted that Shaytan shall have no authority whatsoever over the purified servants of Allah. Please see  Ibrahim: 22 and Nahl: 99 and 100 according to which Shaytan has no authority over the purified servants of Allah.

The struggle between evil and good, truth and falsehood, and now and then one having an upper hand over the other, has been symbolised by the alternation of night and day-but it is the truth or good which ultimately wins.

Rites and ritual have been prescribed, apart from their social advantages, mainly to test man's willingness to obey Allah's commands. From prophet to prophet these rites and rituals were changed and amended to suit the advancement and progress in human society. Refer to al Baqarah: 142 and 143.

The challenge regarding the exclusive creative power of Allah in this verse is similar to the challenge in v 23 of al Baqarah which refers to the inimitable book of Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet.

After making known the exclusive power of Allah to create, His omnipotence in the realm of revelation and legislation is referred to in this verse.

"O you who believe" in v 77 and "you be witnesses for mankind" in this verse have been addressed to those of the descendants of Ibrahim referred to in Baqarah: 124 and 128 and in his prayer (Ibrahim: 35 to 41), who never worshipped a ghayrallah (other than Allah)-see al Baqarah : 124. The Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt identified in the verse of mubahila (Ali Imran: 61) are the descendants of Ibrahim.

"Another creature" in v 14 refers to the beginning of the human psyche in the new-born child.

There are physical spheres above us; and there are spiritual spheres above the primary human psychical system up to the ultimate stage of communion with the absolute. These stages are described by the mystics as under:
(i) Tab-a-instinct.
(ii) Nafs-desire.
(iii) Qalb-state of inter-relation and emotion.
(iv) Aql-intellect or power to grasp or perceive.
(v) Ruh-spirit or intuition.
(vi) Sirr-mystic state.
(vii) Khafi-hidden.
(viii) Akhfa-most hidden.
The state of qalb is not stationary. It is interrelated with the other stages.
There are other terms also which cannot be understood without personal experience.
The orderly system of the universe, including the various stages, is not a purposeless action as explained in the following verses.

After giving the examples of order in creation, Allah refers to His legislative system for guidance, conveyed through His chosen prophets.

It is mentioned in this verse that Allah gave Maryam and Isa shelter on a fertile plateau. Some commentators have made futile attempts to interpret "fertile plateau" as the valley of Kashmir. They even have found out an old tomb, in which a holy man named Yusuf Asa is buried, to be the grave of prophet Isa. According to the Ahlalbayt this fertile land is near river Furat in Iraq.
Whether it refers to pre or post crucifixion (unsuccessful attempt made by the Jews to kill Isa) period is not mentioned here, but as the crucifixion story is untrue it cannot refer to it.

The multiplicity of gods is intellectually indefensible and illogical, considering the unity of design and purpose found in the universe. If there were many gods the result would be as described in this verse, therefore in the uniformity and continuity of the system, the unity of its author is apparent and conclusive.

The condition and the state of barzakh has not been described. What the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt have said about this interval or intermediary state should only be accepted as true.

When the whole universe along with its components, animate and inanimate, angelic and human, take the final form and shape to which they are destined, the trumpet will be blown. Before reaching that state the relations between the parts or components to each other and the whole is subject to change. For example a seed contains the parts and components of the tree, and each is related to the other, but when the process of growth begins in the fertile seed the relation of the parts also begins to change. There appear roots, stem, branches and leaves and the final form becomes a tree. In this process the parts which were in the earlier stage co-related or played procreative role in subsequent stage of growth, change their relation with each other. Likewise the universe with its evolutionary movement to the absolute, along with its parts and components, will not retain the same relation in the final stage; but it does not mean there will be no relation at all. The life in the hereafter is more spiritual and sublime than here. There the relation will take a different form.

However long may be the stay in this world, it is very very short compared to the stay in the next world, but the short stay in this world is not purposeless as stated in v 115.

Though there are countless proofs of the unity of Allah, but there is not a single evidence that there is any god save Him.

Surah means a piece of land surrounded by walls to distinguish it; or a higher place. It is figuratively used to refer to the pieces of the holy book distinguished from each other by bismillah, except al Bara-at which begins without bismillah, but is not a continuation of the preceding surah. The word surah here and in other places proves the existence of the Quran in the form of surahs during the time of its revelation.

"A party of the believers" are those who have not committed any crime, and who know the divine laws and their true application. Refer to fiqh for the minimum number of the witnesses.

This verse refers to the general trend and tendency of those men and women who can be described as habitual offenders.
Hurrima implies that the believers dislike and detest such people.
Nikah means wedlock as well as cohabitation.
It is not a legislative ordinance, therefore there is no abrogation.

This verse is like v 3 of this surah. There is no legislative significance. The pure consort with the pure, and the impure with the impure. It refers to the general pattern of human behaviour.
Verse 10 of At Tahrim says that the wicked wives of Nuh and Lut betrayed their purified husbands, the prophets of Allah. To remove the contradiction it is necessary to restrict the meaning of the cleanness to chastity and impurity to adultery in this verse, because it was revealed in connection with the accusation of adultery. "They are free from what they say" confirms it. v 10 of At Tahrim clearly accuses the wicked wives of the two prophets of disloyalty to their husbands. The wives of the prophets are free from the dirt of adultery but they are not free from other evils.

Tastanisu-to seek familiarity-has been used figuratively for asking permission so as to stop the practice of entering stealthily without notice.

These verses contain the legislation regarding modesty in dress, and discipline in intermingling of sexes, for both men and women. Women are not allowed to display their parts of body, adorned or not, to men except those mentioned in v 31. They have to cover their bodies except face, hands (from the wrist) and feet (including ankles), but they should not be adorned as to stimulate sexual desire when they go out of their homes. There is no restriction on them if they have to come out from their houses. In any event what the Muslim women are doing under the influence of western civilisation is against the tenets of Islam.

To know the proper application of ayah al Nur the following points should be kept in view:
(i) It is a parable.
(ii) A parable implies several applications corresponding to various aspects.
(iii) The light should be understood in its widest sense, as a self-evident being which is evident by itself, and through which other beings become evident.
(iv) The light emanating from a source may pass through transparent or opaque mediums. Generally it is not serviceable when it passes through an opaque medium but is profitable when it goes through a transparent medium.
Transparent mediums have different degrees of transparency. Better conductivity depends on the degree of refinement and purification of the medium.
There may be a source or cause which produces the light. It may also be self-illuminating .
(vii) Usually light proceeding from a source illuminates a particular area, leaving other areas unlighted.
(viii) The source of the light, in this verse, is not localised. It is neither of the east nor the west-not any particular area or direction. See my note in Maryam: 16 to 40.
(ix) The parable is applicable to the process of creation as well as to guidance and also to legislation in order to regulate human behaviour both as an individual and as a member of society.
(x) Light as a symbol of guidance is one of the attributes of Allah. It is manifested in both the realms of creation and legislation.
Allah is the light through which every created being comes into evidence, and every being is guided toward the destination where it should reach. To reach to the destination of salvation, bliss and satisfaction it has to do that which guidance points out.
In every realm and sphere there is a point in which the light of creation or guidance manifests itself originally, and then illuminates the surroundings. Niche {mishtat) refers to this "point" as the exalted holy place chosen for the manifestation of Allah's name and attributes. There should be an entity whose cognitive self becomes the focus of light. Such entities have been pointed out clearly in Ahzab: 33 and Ali Imran: 61 as the first and the foremost in receiving the light of existence in the arc of descent and the-last in the arc of ascent. In the realm of creation they are the best entities or "points" in which the light of creation manifested itself originally. In the realm of legislation and guidance too they are the best models.
If applied to any individual the niche is the power of expression and the "house" (in which the niche is situated) is the body.
If applied to the group of the Ahlalbayt and the prophets, the niche in the house is the Holy Prophet.
The divine light passed through the purest transparent chain of prophets, without any detour, and manifested itself in its full glory in the Holy Prophet, to illuminate the human society for ever.
All the mediums-lamp, glass etcetera-which are the various stages between the original source and the final spreading of the light should be of the highest transparency so as not to affect the purity of light passing through them. It implies that the minds, hearts, loins and wombs of the ancestors of the Holy Prophet were free from the dirt of polytheism.
The house in which the niche always remained is described in v 36. There always exists a group of persons whose hearts and minds are fully occupied with the remembrance of Allah.
The niche is the source of light, and the oil of the blessed tree is a pure "light above light". There is not a slightest trace of darkness. Darkness or evil exists outside the sphere of the houses in which the niche is located and cannot enter into it.

First the perfect man has been presented as the niche and the inhabitants of the divine house as those through whom the divine light spreads to guide all mankind. On the contrary the deeds and the theories of the infidels may appear to be of some use and attract people as a mirage does, but darkness or falsehood brings nothing except disappointment and gives nothing save punishment .

Verses 123 of An-am and 52 of Shura, together with this verse, clearly indicate that the light of guidance comes from the divine source-prophets, Imams and the revealed scriptures. Even the proper understanding of the revealed scriptures requires divine endowment of knowledge as per v 32 of al Fatir.

Dabbah here refers to the terrestrial animals. Ma (water) refers to the protoplasm which is the basis of all living matter because the vital power of protoplasm depends on the constant presence of water in it.
If it refers to all terrestrial and celestial beings including jinn and angels then ma is to be interpreted as that substance which was used to create the heavens and the earth and all that which is in them as mentioned in Hud: 7.

If the removal of fear, inheritance of authority for the overall good and welfare of the people, establishment of religion, and peace and security are mentioned here in connection with the administration of human society in this world, then it either refers to the advent of the awaited saviour, Imam Muhammad al Mahdi, before the resurrection, or to the nature of legislative process to be applied to the succession of the Holy Prophet, which should be by the divine command. "Establishment" implies full awareness and masterly ability to apply religious and natural laws made by Allah in all aspects of material and spiritual life with maximum degree of certitude. "Whosoever disbelieves" refers to those who disagree with the method of succession laid down by Allah. The legislative character of this verse is clearly asserted. It does not refer to the historical development of the khilafat, because then it has to be admitted that true believers ceased to exist after the first four caliphs, or all the subsequent caliphs up to Ataturk were good believers which is historically not true, and that after the termination of caliphate there have been no believers at all.

The three occasions refer to the usual hours during which people want to avail the blessings of privacy. Even for a domestic servant or a child it is not proper to come into anyone's room without notice. Such are the Islamic rules of decorum.

Women of extreme old age are permitted to relax for themselves the proper rules of dress and use of veil, made necessary for young women in v 30 and 31, provided there is no wanton exhibition of their womanhood.

In order to create love and friendship among the believers the traditions based upon superstitions have been removed.
Salute each other as done in every prayer: Assalamu alayna wa ala ibadillahis salihin-peace be on us and on the righteous servants of Allah. In Allah's grace and blessing is our peace.

This verse explains "afallahu anka" (Allah makes allowance for you) in v 43 of al Bara-at. Allah has already given the Holy Prophet the authority to give or refuse permission to whomsoever he liked in the exercise of his impartial discretion. The blame in v 43 of al Barat is on those who asked for his permission. Those who asked his permission to leave (in al Bara-at: 43 to 45) were hypocrites who did not want to take part in the defensive preparations, therefore were blamed and condemned.

As stated in v 49 of Qamar, Allah has created all things by a measure, and in v 8 of Rad there is a measure of everything with Him. Planning and measuring are visible in every process of nature and creation. The particle fa implies precedence not consequence.

Verses 4 and 5 point to the confusion in the minds of the disbelievers which is a positive proof of their falsehood.

The disbelievers do not believe in Allah, His prophet and His religion because they deny the life of hereafter when justice and truth will triumph. They live in the dominion of evil. They will be punished as shown in these verses.

Wali is he who is near. A master is the wali of his slave; and likewise a slave is the wali of his master. Two friends or two neighbours are near to each other, therefore one is wali of another. Allah is the wali of the believers; and the believers are the awliya of Allah. In this verse awliya means friends, not guardians, because it refers to the false gods who are questioned.

The tendency of the disbelievers to reject whatever is not experienced by the senses is still the yardstick of truth among the so-called educated persons.

Here sama means the various spheres, one upon the other, like the clouds which cover the space above them. Shaq means the removal of the cover like a cloth is torn asunder. Then the dwellers of the upper spheres will descend. In v 104 of Anbiya it is said that the heavens will be rolled up like a written scroll. In v 29 of Shura it is said that all the living things will be gathered together if He wills. v 4 to 6 of Waqi-ah say that the earth will be shaken up convulsively, the mountains bruised and crushed, turned to dust, floating in the air. v 7 to 9 of Qiyamah say that the eyes will be dazed, the moon eclipsed, and the sun and the moon are conjoined. v 8 to 10 of Mursalat say that the stars will be obliterated, the heavens split asunder, the mountains will be reduced to dust and blown away. v 19 of Naba says that the heavens will be opened wide as if there were doors. There are similar descriptions in Takwir, Infitar and Inshiqaq also.
A close study of these verses indicate that just before the day of resurrection all the barriers of time and space which separate the conscious beings from each other will be removed.

The unjust referred to in this verse are those who had gone astray after receiving the guidance. They were among those who declared belief in Allah and His prophet and His religion. After seeing and accepting the clear evidences they had deviated from the right path as said in v 19 of Ali Imran. There were quite a few like these among the companions of the Holy Prophet.

The purpose of gradual revelation is to make people understand the meaning of every verse; and let them become familiar with the proper recitation of the Quran. see  al Baqarah : 2 and my essay "The genuineness of the Holy Quran."

According to v 5 of al Muzzammil the prophetic mission (receiving orders, instructions and revelations from Allah and conveying them to people) is a heavy burden or onerous responsibility because of which Musa asked for a supporter and his request was granted, and likewise Ali was given to Muhammad as said in v 1 to 4 of al Inshirah. The verses of the Quran mentioned in this connection assert that the supporter should have the same qualities and purification of soul as the person who is supported has.
The Holy Prophet said:
"Ali is my brother here and in the hereafter. He is from me and I am from him. I and Ali are from the same light."

Commentators have given various accounts of the companions of al Rass. The root meaning of rass is an old well or shallow water-pit. They were people who disobeyed their prophet and were destroyed.

The shadow is not darkness nor negation of light. It is weakened light caused by an opaque object facing the source of light. The shadow changes length and direction due to the movement of the light-giving object, otherwise it would retain its length for ever as described in v 71 and 72 of al Qasas. The shadow follows the light in reverse. The relation between light and shadow is so geometrically fixed that many astronomical calculations are based upon it.
According to the theosophical interpretation the whole dimensional sphere is a shadow of the non-physical sphere about it, and this non-physical sphere is the shadow of another spiritual sphere above it, and like that it continues upto the last sphere of finite being. The length of the shadow increases and decreases in proportion to the extent it turns towards the infinite or absolute light.

To represent too strongly and to intensify tahir, tahura is used here for rain-water which is not only pure but is the best purifying agent known to us.

It may also refer to the spiritual and the physical or good and bad currents or courses in the process of existence with a distinguished medium (a barrier) between them which prevents the mixing or intermingling of the two.

Buruj (constellations) refers to the signs of the Zodiac, which mark the path of the planets in the heavens. see Hijr : 16.

These verses are of the nature of parenthesis.

These verses are conjunctive, in continuation of v 63 to 67.
In these verses those righteous persons have been described who have earned the right to pray to Allah to appoint them as Imams to guide the pious. see al Baqarah : 124 and 128. The prayer of Ibrahim in v 128 of al Baqarah, and the promise of Allah in v 124 of al Baqarah support the interpretation Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq gave as under:
"This verse refers to the holy Ahlalbayt from among whose offspring twelve Imams, one after another, were appointed by Allah."
The Quran clearly points the fact that the created beings in order to satisfy and fulfill their needs and demands have to turn to their Lord who bestows His grace, blessings and bounties on them corresponding to their sincerity and devotedness.

"Those who see the signs of Allah in the world of nature and creation yet refuse to be convinced of the supreme wisdom and authority of their author do not believe in any sign at all."

In v 21 "you" refers to the departure of Musa as an act to avoid the unjust ruler, not to defy the will of Allah. Allah bestowed wisdom, authority and power of judgement {hakm) on Musa to save or deliver the oppressed people from the tyranny of Firawn. All prophets acted under divine guidance from the day they were born.
In v 51 "the first of the believers" refers to the sins they committed before becoming believers. The tradition that those who took part in the battle of Badr were not answerable to whatever they did afterwards is certainly spurious.
In v 62 the fear of the followers of Musa and the consolation given to them resemble to that which took place in the cave when the Holy Prophet was migrating to Madina (see al Baqarah: 207 and Bara-at: 40).

Those on whom Allah has bestowed His bounties in the form of worldly possessions "without measure" more often than not become sneering and supercilious; and unmindful of the fact that it is Allah who has given them the large means look down upon the less fortunate servants of Allah. The Quran clearly asserts that good deeds, piety and love of fellow-beings make man great and honourable.

[The Makkan pagans imagined that the devils had brought down the Quran. Such a beneficent, perfect and lofty message could never suit the purpose of the evil ones, nor would it be in their power to produce it.]

Refer to that which Musa said to his people in Ma-idah: 25; and then refer to the Holy Prophet's declaration in Nisa: 65 khadith al qartas) when his companions refused to give him pen and paper.

These verses refer to the promptings of the devil, its nature and consequences.

Those poets who remember Allah in their verses, highlight the sufferings of the oppressed, condemn the persecutors and beliers of the truth and the truthful, have been excluded from the category of the poets mentioned above.

The fire Musa saw was a divine manifestation, so whosoever was in it and around it (Musa and the angels) were blessed. There is no possibility to take it as the identification or incarnation of God. "Glory be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds" confirms it. It was Allah (not the fire) who called unto Musa. The voice came from the direction of the fire, or the right side of the valley, or from the tree (Qasas: 30).
The fear Musa felt was not the fear of the serpents, nor was Musa afraid of the harm that could occur to him but he was apprehensive of the possible confusion that could mislead the people. No Prophet could have any fright in the presence of Allah. So the false accusation of fright attributed to the Holy Prophet when Jibrail came with the first revelation should be rejected outright as a blasphemy. see  Ali Imran: 48.

The law of inheritance stated in this verse is the law of the Lord, and no one can ever make changes in the laws of the Lord save Himself or the Holy Prophet under His command (Bani Israil : 77). Now see  Bani Israil : 26; Nahl: 90 and Maryam: 2 to 15 for the issue of Fadak. To deprive Bibi Fatimah of her rightful inheritance a false tradition (The prophets of Allah neither inherit nor leave inheritance) was quoted. The Holy Prophet was a law-giver, therefore he could never break any law made by Allah. He was the best exemplar of the laws and doctrines preached by him.
The Holy Prophet said:
"Whenever you hear a tradition attributed to me, compare it with the Quran, and, if there is no contradiction between the two, accept it, otherwise reject it outright."
Dawud who chose Sulayman, a prophet, to inherit his kingdom was also a prophet, therefore the tradition quoted to deprive Bibi Fatimah of her rightful inheritance was undoubtedly false. Please note that the superior most prophet of Allah, Muhammad al Mustafa, was granted all the wisdom, knowledge and authority over all created beings which was given to other prophets, in the highest degree by the most generous giver of all givers.

The last sentence of v 40 asserts that man's submission and devotion to Allah is in his own interest. Allah is supreme in glory. He is self sufficient. He is free of all needs.

"Travel" in this verse implies study of the history of nations to know the consequences of their theories, policies and actions.
Imam Ali said:
"O my son, although I have not lived with the people gone by but I have so closely studied their deeds, the events which took place, and the traditions and vestiges they have left behind, as if I have become one of them, as if I have lived with the first and the last of them." (Nahj al Balagha)

Allah can make whomsoever He wills to hear the call inviting to truth, but only the men of understanding who have the ability to believe will listen to the preaching of the Holy Prophet.

Read v 82 in the light of the commentary of v 110 of Ali Imran wherein Allah addresses the best group raised among men to enjoin good and to prevent them from doing evil and mischief. In the end, before the final judgement is to be passed, the alive created being who will be brought forth from the earth to speak to the people should be of the same class and category, a human being of utmost accomplishments duly privileged to address the good as well as the wicked people. It is stated in the next verse that a group of disbelievers from every people will be gathered together before the day of resurrection. This is a day of partial resurrection (qiyamat sughra or raj-at). According to authentic traditions of the Ahlalbayt the living being referred to here is Imam Ali ibn abi Talib.

The purpose the day and the night serve bears clear evidence to the purposefulness of the plan of the creator.

The continuous change in the material substance or substantial change in the matter is the basis of evolution and is the evidence of the purposefulness of the creation in the sense that motion means change-from past to present and from present to future. What follows is the summing up of that which has passed. The ultimate is a sum total of the whole process that has taken place. The term sun-allah (the work of Allah) refers to the soundness and thoroughness of the divine artistry of creation.

This is a positive proof that Imams appointed by Allah come from those whom the world considered weak and poor. They do not belong to the arrogant and ignorant ruling class (see al Baqarah: 247).

Lam in liyakuna does not refer to the motive of "picking up Musa" but to the consequences that Musa would be their destroyer.

The mother of Musa is referred to as Ahlalbayt, not as the wife of Imran but as the mother of Musa. Likewise Sara is referred to as Ahli Bayt in v 73 of Hud as the mother of Ishaq. As the wives, even of prophet's can be divorced, and Allah would give him better wives in return (Tahrim: 5), they cannot be included in the Ahlalbayt. The wives of Nuh and Lut were wicked. Nevertheless, so far as any woman remains the wife of a prophet she should be respected.

Hukm means authority and prophethood.
Istawa refers to the state of perfect equity which is an essential quality or attribute for being appointed as the prophet of Allah. It is a state of perfect balance for viewing both the aspects of creation-manifest and hidden.

These two events took place before Musa was allowed by Allah to declare war against the infidels. This stage is called taqiyyah "hiding the faith" but self defence is not prohibited.
Thus, in the first quarrel Musa had put aside taqiyyah and killed the infidel. That action encouraged his companion to quarrel with another offender. Musa blamed him for being hot tempered and not able to observe taqiyyah, which compelled Musa to take his side. But legally there was nothing against Musa on both occasions.
The infidels of Makka expected a compromising attitude from the Holy Prophet, therefore they approached Abu Talib to ask the Holy Prophet not to abuse their gods and be confined to his own way of worship.

Among the people of Firawn, Hazkil was the believer in Allah but kept his faith hidden in order to help Musa (see Mumin: 18), and so was Abu Talib who protected the cause of Islam and the Holy Prophet against the strong and powerful non-believers of Makka.

Refer to Maryam: 52 and Ta Ha: 13. This was the place where Musa came in direct communion with Allah. The Holy Prophet had direct communion with Allah in mi-raj (see Bani Israil: 1); and the stage of aw adna (Najm: 9) is beyond sidratil muntaha (Najm: 14).

Firawn wanted to reach the heavens by building a tower of bricks to go into outer space (the heaven) and see if there is any God there. The modern scientists are also making efforts to reach and investigate the higher realms. According to v 33 of Rahman such attempts may bear fruit if done with authority (after knowing the laws made by Allah), but it is in vain to search for God whether here on earth or in the farthest space, in such ways.
In search of God, one's mind should cross the material world and aims.

As the last sentence of this verse says the arrogant and the insolent of every age will be punished when they will come before Allah for the final judgement.

Whether the original uncorrupted Tawrat or the Quran, man must follow the true guidance sent by Allah through His messengers. This also indicates that man must follow the true guidance which is the basis of imamah as well as the doctrine of ijtihad .

The permissibility of using one's discretion without being supported by divine revelation is denied in this verse and it is said that divine guidance is not given to unjust people (see  al Baqarah: 124).

There is no difference between the liking and disliking of Allah and the Holy Prophet, because the Holy Prophet never did or said anything on his own accord, independent of the divine will (Najm: 2 to 10 and Jumu-ah: 2).

Those who submit to or worship the authority of others than Allah are, in reality, worshipping or submitting to their own inclinations (Furqan: 43).

Allah gives hope which is as good as an assurance. "Asa" (may be) is used in the sense of giving assurance.

Creation and legislation is by Allah's will alone and man has no choice in either of these fields.
Those who claim that the question of supreme authority in Islam, meaning khilafat, is to be decided by human choice are mistaken.

Though there is no restriction on the legitimate enjoyments, but the purpose of life is to seek nearness and pleasure of Allah in the life of the hereafter. According to the Holy Prophet the fundamental principle of life given by Islam is balance and harmony in all spheres, worldly and spiritual.

Whatever is given to any man in return of his or her efforts is of Allah's will because unless laws made by Him are followed, there can be no success. Thus Allah alone should be trusted and none should attempt to make any compromise with the infidels who deny and reject the laws of Allah.

Ayyashi narrates from Imam Ali bin Muhammad an Naqi that Ibn Abbas, after the departure of the Holy Prophet from this world, told Ali:
"Go to the people. They will pay allegiance to you."
In reply Ali quoted this verse.

According to the Holy Prophet his Ahlalbayt are like the ark of Nuh. Those who have boarded the ship of salvation are saved but those who hold back are drowned and lost for ever.

The prophets of Allah are not concerned whether people believe or disbelieve.

Refer to my note in the commentary of v 69 of an Naml. The nature of journey is intellectual, not physical. History is the development of the past into the present and the present into the future as stated in my note of v 87 and 88 of an Naml.

To the spider, who artistically construct an intricate combination of network, his abode is like a fortress, but a slight disturbance proves that it was the flimsiest of houses. Likewise theories built upon conjecture by human minds to challenge the laws or will of Allah are more feeble than spider's web.

To remove man's economic apprehensions, the Quran draws attention to the fact that the creation of heavens, the earth and the heavenly bodies including man himself, and the destruction and death of all are beyond human will and choice.

see  An-am: 32. The comforts and hardships of the life of this world are not important. They are a test and trial. The life of hereafter is real and eternal.

Allah is always with those who do good to others; and He guides those who strive in His way. This is the most promising assurance held out for those who sincerely strive in the way of Allah.

The human nature is heedless (ghafilun), but not to the extent that man is not endowed with consciousness of the life of hereafter at all. It is only that he has been so attracted and fascinated by this world that he has become inattentive. As pointed out in the next verse human cognitive self bears more affinity to spiritual life (hereafter) than the life of the senses.
Thus a strong warning is sounded for the sinners that their sinfulness might result in complete disbelief in Allah and denial of truth.
This very passage was quoted by Bibi Zaynab, Imam Husayn's sister, when she was brought as a prisoner in the court of Yazid, in answer to his observation:
"The Hashimites had played a game for acquiring power to rule otherwise neither there came any message nor any revelation from heaven."

This verse and others on this subject, confirm the fact that everything returns to the point of its origin or beginning. Thus, the process of creation although evolutionary is circular by nature.

Instead of Allah, the infidels worshipped false gods and associated false deities with Allah, but on the day of judgement they will themselves reject the associate-gods.
The day of resurrection, as referred to here and elsewhere, is presented as a day when people will be separated while in Hud: 103 and Taghabun: 9 it is said to be the day of gathering people, which might appear contradictory. However, there is no contradiction as these statements refer to two different aspects of the day of resurrection.

"Glory be to Allah" refers to the time of the five canonical prayers.
Tumsun refers to Maghrib and Isha prayers. Tusbihun refers to Fajr prayer. Ashiyyan refers to Asr prayer. Tuzhirun refers to Zuhr prayer. All these changes in times of a day i.e. morning, mid-day, afternoon, evening and night are manifestations of His glory.

The love between man and woman (husband and wife) is the grace of Allah. This forms the fundamental base of alliance between couples of the same species. Love and compassion provides the cohesive force of this union.

This verse refers to the development of various languages and classes among human beings which is the most complicated aspect of the evolution of human civilisation.

The cohesive force which holds together the dimensional realms is not material and cannot be explained save as Allah's will.

All forces, physical and spiritual, working and dominating in this universe are like a slave whose power and actions are subordinate to the will of the master. Therefore these forces should not be given a status of the master himself.

The doctrine of original sin has been refuted.
The Holy Prophet said:
"Every child is born a Muslim (with the nature of submitting to Allah and following His laws) but the parents make the child a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian."
see  Nur: 35.

As also said in Araf: 38 those groups of people who rejoice in their success in this world will curse each other on the day of judgement .

The setbacks man experiences in this world is the consequence of his misdeed. It must serve him as a warning because the sins he commits will land him in the abode of eternal punishment in the hereafter.

Preachings and guidance made available by the prophets can only affect the minds of those who have a positive inclination towards truth. For those who are adamant, it shall be of no use.

The tarrying refers to the intermediary after death to the day of resurrection.

Lahw means idle or amusing discourse which disengages attention from meaningful thought, field of inquiry or argument. On this basis the Ahlalbayt have applied the term "lawh al hadith " to music.

The assertion of last clause in v 14 is that thanking Allah is more important than thanking parents, although both are necessary.
In v 15 we are commanded not to follow those parents who do not follow the right path. Instead, one should follow the path of those who constantly seek nearness to Allah. see  Ankabut: 8.

This verse refers to total resurrection and to the fact that nothing will escape the attention of Allah.

For the infinite almighty Lord the creation and resurrection of a whole mass is as easy as the creation and resurrection of a single soul. The whole is so well connected with its components that the creation and the resurrection of a component also affects the whole.

The circular process of the divine administration is manifested in the descent from the highest to the lowest and the ascent from the lowest to the highest, but its duration cannot be determined by the space-time calculation known to us. Refer to Hajj: 47 and Ma-arij: 4.

Ghayb refers to sama and shahadat refers to arz, mentioned in the previous verse. Sama implies the unseen and arz implies the seen, known to human senses.

In view of this verse the Holy Prophet said:
"Man has been created to live for ever, not to vanish into nothingness. He is transported from the place where he acts as he chooses to the place where he shall live for ever, happy or miserable, according to the deeds he has chosen to do."

In v 61 of Anam also it is said that the angel of death will take every man's soul. In v 42 of Zumar it is said that Allah takes the souls at the time of death. It indicates that whatever is done is the effect of His Will. The angel of death carries out His will.

The natural changes taking place in this world are a proof that this transitory state has an end and whatever good is to be done to secure a good end should be done here, otherwise, at the end of this worldly life, nothing can be done because the life of hereafter is a consequence of what has been done here.

If there is absolute submission to the will of Allah in the heart of a man, there cannot be any room for ghayrallah (other than Allah) in it.

This verse makes known the basis of the wilayah and imamah (the absolute authority of the Holy Prophet and of Ali as declared at Ghadir Khum) over the believers.
see  Anfal: 75 to know the principle of inheritance-he who is closer and nearer to him in wisdom and character should be his spiritual heir, and the closest relation in blood should inherit his property, therefore he in whom both "nearnesses" are combined should inherit his position as well as his property. Also refer to the introduction of surah al Bara-at for the closeness to the point of indivisible oneness between the Holy Prophet and Ali ibn abi Talib.
"His wives are their mothers" has been mentioned to say "you should not marry his widows after him at any time" in v 53 of this surah. There is no significance in it other than the fact that whatever is associated with the Holy Prophet is to be respected and honoured even if the thing or person possesses no merits of his own just like the "black stone" which was fixed by Ibrahim and Ismail in the house of Allah by His command.

Due to the unbecoming, envious and avaricious behaviour of the wives referred to in v 28 to 34 they have not been included in the clause of purification of Ahlalbayt in v 33, in which the highest degree of purification has been bestowed only on the Ahlalbayt. This is the reason that in all these verses the wives of the Holy Prophet are referred to in personal plural pronoun in feminine gender, but in the clause of purification the pronoun is plural in masculine gender, just as in v 73 of Hud. In v 5 of at Tahrim it is stated that the Holy Prophet had discretionary power to divorce any of his wife, and if he did so Allah would give him better women as his wives in place of the existing wives. When evident unbecoming misconduct has been proved against the wives, the element of rijs (pollution) is established, therefore as they could be divorced and no more be the Holy Prophet's wives, they were not included in the Ahlalbayt.

"They would fight but little" shows that the companions made almost no contribution to the mission of the Holy Prophet. Even a commentator like Allama Yusuf Ali (who has not mentioned the Ahlalbayt at all in his entire commentary) admits in his note (3685) that "Ali particularly distinguished himself in many fights, wearing the prophet's own sword and armour."

Ali ibn abi Talib said: "When the fighting was most intense we always found the Holy Prophet nearest the enemy lines."
Before him, his father, Abu Talib, used to say that Muhammad was the pivot around whom the Hashimite warriors would gather to take refuge and fight.

This verse refers to the faith of the companions of the Holy Prophet. The true believers among them are described in v 23 who shall certainly attain success in the life of the hereafter, and in this verse the other category of the companions is addressed as pretenders who shall certainly be punished.

The books of history give three reasons for the retreat of the allied forces. v 9 of this surah says: "We (Allah) sent (i) a hurricane (ii) and the armies which you did not see." In addition to these two the 3rd reason was the role Ali played in this battle.
In this verse it is said: "Allah repelled the disbelievers in their rage." Although the human will was present in the 3rd cause yet it has not been mentioned, because Ali's will worked in total submission to Allah's will as also the Holy Prophet's action is described in v 17 of An-am: "When you (O Muhammad) threw (dust) at them, it was not your act, but Allah's." The Holy Prophet told the dejected Muslims in the battle of Khaybar when he gave the standard to Ali: "He will not come back till Allah gives us victory through his hands." So Ali is also known yadullah (the hand of Allah).
Imam Ali said:
"Whatever I do is in the cause of Allah. I do nothing for myself. Wholly and solely all my actions are for Allah."
see  Baqarah: 214; 251 and v 1 to 3 and 9 and 10 to 20, 21, 22 of this surah.

(i) Innama (verily or only) signifies exclusive distinction. To emphasise this exclusiveness, the second object of the verb yudh-hiba (keep off)-the phrase ankum (from you)-has been put before the first object rijs (uncleanness); and for further emphasis, the phrase Ahlalbayt has been mentioned to explain the pronoun ankum (from you). The grammatical structure of the whole clause indicates that this a unique privilege or distinction granted to the Ahlalbayt only, excluding all others.
The verb yuridu implies that the continuous will or intention of Allah is His creative will or intention, not legislative. To interpret the will as the legislative will as in Ma-idah: 6, distorts the whole fabric of the verse and renders meaningless the exclusive particle and the constructional arrangement. Even then it means that only the Ahlalbayt exclusively achieved the standard.
(iii) This verse is a preface to v 77 to 79 of al Waqi-ah: "Verily this is an honourable (Karim) Quran, in a hidden (preserved) book, which no one can touch save the purified." (Refer to page 3.)
(iv) The excellences of Ahlalbayt have been openly demonstrated in the event of mubahilah (see  Ali Imran : 61).
(v) The Ahlalbayt had only been thoroughly purified by Allah because of their total submission to Allah's will and their state of being always in communion with Allah.

The general statement about believing men and women in this verse indicates that the privilege and
distinction mentioned in the preceding verse are exclusive for the Ahlalbayt.
Although every wife of the Holy Prophet must be respected as the "mother of believers", but in view of the v 5 of Tahrim they may not be included in this verse.

"An adopted son is not the real son", and all other Quranic injunctions are valid in all ages.
"You did fear the people" implies that the right course should be followed, whether the people like it or not, as said in v 54 of Ma-idah: "They fear not the censure of the censurers."
Prophethood does not deprive the prophet and his family of essential human rights divinely legislated for all.

"Muhammad is not the father of any of your men" annuls the pagans laws concerning the adopted children, but it does not mean that his posterity was cut off (see surah al Kawthar, and Ali Imran: 61 wherein abna-ana, nisa-ana and anfusana are distinguished from other people, and min rijalikum (of your men) has been used in this verse to exclude all others from the progeny of the Holy Prophet.
The word khatam implies not only the finality but also signifies that the Holy Prophet is the testimony of the truthfulness of all the earlier prophets.

By Allah's permission and under His command the Holy Prophet invited every person to the right path. See the commentary of Ali Imran: 52, 53 and 61; and Ma-idah: 67, according to which the appointment of Ali and the Imams in the progeny of Ali and Fatimah as his successors were strictly under the commands of Allah. Therefore the promise of the great grace of Allah is for those who accept and follow his declarations made in dawat dhil ashira and at Ghadir -Khum.

Allah commanded the Holy Prophet not to marry any woman after the revelation of this verse.
Although his followers are prohibited to marry more than four women (see Nisa: 3) but muta (temporary marriage) is allowed in addition to four wives (see Nisa: 24).

This verse shows that there was a noticeable dearth of good manners in the companions of the Holy Prophet. Their conduct was annoying and objectionable. see  Nur: 271.

The status of the motherhood conferred on the wives of the Holy Prophet did not affect the ordinary relationship of man and woman between them and the people.

The recitation of salawat implies that the believers should not worship the Holy Prophet as a deity. He is the most honoured servant of Allah for whom Allah sends His highest blessings, because he is the first and the foremost in submission and devotion to Allah. The Ahlalbayt have been included with him, by his command, because they are also equal to him in submission and devotion to Allah.

Whosoever recites curtailed salawat as mentioned in the commentary of v 56, by omitting ali Muhammad causes a continuous annoyance to Allah and his prophet, therefore condemns himself to the humiliating punishment promised in this verse.

This will be the fate of those who follow the self-proclaimed leaders instead of the divinely appointed leaders at Ghadir Khum (see Ma-idah: 67.)

Amanat means trust. There is no trust if the trustee has no power, and the trust implies that the giver of the trust expects that the trustee would use it according to the wish or will of the creator of the trust, and not otherwise.
The offer implies the unrestricted grace of Allah which reaches all beings in the heavens and the earth and in between them; and the refusal refers to their inability or lack of competency to carry out the responsibility. If haml (to bear) implies acceptance of the offer, then this verse means that the heavens, the earth and the mountains refused to accept the offer and man undertook the responsibility. According to some commentators haml, in this verse, implies "failure in the fulfilment and bearing the consequences." Iniquity and ignorance of those who failed to fulfil the entrusted responsibility, pointed out in the last clause, refers, by inference, to those trustees who used the trust according to the will of the creator of the trust, and not otherwise. Therefore this verse implies the praise of those who fulfil the responsibility and denunciation of those who, on account of their iniquity and ignorance, fail to do so. The book of Allah and the Ahlalbayt of the Holy Prophet are the two most important trusts of Allah given to the Muslims, about which they will be questioned (see hadith al thaqalayn).
Do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Verily the ear, the eye and the heart, each shall be questioned.(Bani Israil: 36)
The trust is the viceregency of Allah (khilafat) given to man as a gift from the Lord to represent Him according to His will. If the last clause is taken as the failure of Adam then the verses of al Baqarah: 30 to 32 and 124 and Ali Imran: 33 and 34 become meaningless.

As the response to the trust was not alike among the mankind, they have been divided into two groups, one includes the hypocrites and the disbelievers and the other the believers.

Allah's plan can never be frustrated (see Hajj;: 51). Those who oppose it or attempt to frustrate it, are punished and destroyed.
It also refers to those who attempt to explain all the natural phenomena of the universe in atheistic and materialistic terms.

According to the theistic view of life, death is not the annihilation of life, but a transfer to a new state. This always appears strange to the atheists.

A proper observation of the surrounding, terrestrial and celestial, proves that they are held by some power above the dimensional realm unexplainable in terms of the dimensions.

In refutation of the materialistic view of life, v 9 refers to the evidence afforded by the general and natural phenomena, while subsequent verses refer to the particular miracles given to the prophets.

Maharib means huge temples, altars, arches, vast halls. Some of the jurists refer to the word tamathil (statues) in favour of the permissibility of making images, restricting the prohibitory traditions to those images which are meant for worship. For details refer to the books of fiqh.
Some critics attempt to slander the followers of the Ahlalbayt by saying that they have borrowed their views about the Ahlalbayt from the adoration of the family of Dawud by the Jews. In reply, firstly the Quran itself has given the exceptionally distinguished status to the Ahlalbayt, excluding all others (see Ali Imran: 61 and Ahzab: 33). Secondly, Nur: 55 expressly says that the method of the caliphate after the Holy Prophet will be the same as before. Thirdly, the Quran asserts that the families of Ibrahim and Imran are chosen by Allah to hold the book, the Wisdom and the authority (Ali Imran: 33 and 34)

The people of Saba neglected the bounties of Allah and invited the miseries on themselves. This is true of the material, as well as the spiritual life of man. Thus Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq quotes this verse to illustrate that the trouble which engulfed the Muslims (and will continue until the reappearance of Imam Al Mahdi al Qa-im) was due to the ingratitude shown by the people concerning Ghadir Khum. They neglected to pay attention to the covenant of Ghadir (see Ma-idah: 67). For a similar example among the chadren of Israil see Ma-idah: 20 to 26.

This verse asserts that right and wrong, good and evil, are incompatible, one with another. There is no compromise. It refutes the theosophist point of view about religions that: "All are subjectively true." The Quran asserts that the religions should be valued objectively, and both the opposites cannot be true.

It means that most of the people do not appreciate the universality of the mission of the Holy Prophet, who was the last of the prophets. Even among the Muslims there are some narrow-minded historians who value the Islamic teachings as something having developed specifically out of the conditions in pagan Arabia at that time. Quran says that it was revealed to bestow on man the awareness of his full dynamic potential.

Asarru has been interpreted by some commentators to mean: "they expressed"; and by others to mean: "they hid their regret." Both interpretations are justified in the sense that by throwing the blame on each other their regret is exposed without any individual directly expressing his fault.
The "shackles" are their own deeds which shall hang around their necks weighing them down.

Verses 34 to 39 refer to the general tendency of people to attach importance to abundance of wealth and children, while through the Quran Allah reveals that it is people's faith and good deeds which are the means of approach to Allah.

This is a refutation of the claims of the pagans and all others who consider themselves as following a course of angelical practices and enchantments. In reality these people follow the satanic forces of the lower spheres. This includes the modern ways of attempting to recall dead spirits.

This verse refers to those who, feeling the fascinating force of the Quran, termed it as sorcery.

This verse asserts that the Holy Prophet had asked for a recompense, as an exception to the general course followed by the preceding prophets, but the recompense requested was only in the people's interest, as explained in the commentary of Sad: 86 and 87. .

When the guilty are sentenced, and their punishment comes nearest to them, they will be far away from their earthly life, where faith held no importance for them. While they were in the state of worldly existence, and had opportunity to believe, they disbelieved, and considered the unseen world as something far beyond imagination.

(i) The word malak is derived from malaka (to possess), and not from alak (conveying the message). The angel as such is not the message, but the carrier of the message.
(ii) It refers to the multi-functional aspects of the increase as per Allah's will. This supports the theory of the ever-expanding growth and development of the universe.

(a) Allah alone is the one who can give honour as He pleases (see Ali Imran: 26).
(b) Any doctrine, idea or discourse in conformity with what is said in Ibrahim: 24 and good deeds in concord with good words, increases the momentum of the ascent.
Some temporal rulers and wealthy people mistakenly believe that worldly power, possessions and position are great honours granted to them by Allah. The Quran asserts the opposite. The real honour granted by Allah is that which is permanent and not worldly, because worldly gains are merely a trial.

These verses assert that whatever Allah has created is not purposeless or futile.

The act of creation is constant and the continuation has a beginning and an end.

This is the permanent tie between the creature and the creator.

There is no contradiction between this verse and Ankabut: 12 and 13, which assert that no one shall bear the burden of another, rather his own burden may be increased on account of his having misled others. Every wrongdoer shall be fully responsible for his own misdeeds, and unable to use any scapegoat. Some Christian critics misinterpret this clear moral principle to mean that a sinner cannot bear the sins of others, but a sinless person may bear them. This concept contains no logic whatsoever. A sinless person can intercede and remove the burden but does not shoulder the sins.

This is the refutation of the doctrine of the subjective value of good and bad, which even now a section of the Indian school of philosophy maintains.

It is a figurative expression indicating that those who are alive to the message are not like those who are indifferent to it.

Universal grace produces various effects in various receptacles.

Some are unjust to themselves, some are the foremost in all that is good, by Allah's permission.
From this it is obvious that the last book of Allah is inherited in the same lineage, but only by those of the third category who have been identified as the Ahlalbayt in Ahzab: 33, and further identified in Ali Imran : 61 and confirmed by Waqi-ah: 77 to 79.

This is a clear assertion that dimensional creation whether terrestrial or celestial, is not existing by itself, but is the outcome of a cohesive power, unexplainable in dimensional terms.

36:6 .
This verse refers to the people of his immediate audience who are supposed to be the descendants of Ibrahim through Ismail, similar to "warn your relatives" in Shu-ara: 214. However, it does not mean that the Holy Prophet's mission was only for those particular people. It is a universal mission as said in Araf: 158. Though after Ismail all the direct ancestors of the Holy Prophet followed the religion of Ibrahim (Islam) none among them was appointed a prophet.

Refer to the divine decision against Shaytan and his followers in Araf: 13 to 18, according to which most people do not believe in the truth.

"The barriers" implies the arrogance and obstinacy of the pagans which prevented them from submitting to the will of Allah.

The history of early Muslims bears testimony to the behavioural pattern of the disbelievers.

Those who follow the divine laws mentioned in the Quran, and the sunnah (way of life) of the Holy Prophet are among the rightly guided. As mentioned in v 7 and 8 the greater part of men do not follow the divine laws and the way of life of the Holy Prophet.

Whatever man does is recorded. The record of the deeds of every individual, and the records pertaining to creation and legislation (which includes knowledge of everything that has been created since the beginning, its progress and the laws governing it) have been made known to "the manifesting Imam", therefore he is the repository of all knowledge. The manifesting Imams have been clearly identified in Ahzab: 33; Waqi-ah: 77 to 79; Ali Imran: 61 and hadith al thaqalayn (see page 6).

In line with the style of the Quran whereby stories are forwarded as example it is told that Isa had sent two of his disciples to preach his message. When they came to the outskirts of a city, they met a shepherd who asked as to who they were. They replied that they were the messengers from Isa, the prophet of Allah, and had been sent to invite people to the religion of Allah. The shepherd wished to see if they had any signs to prove their bonafide. They said that they could cure the sick and restore sight to the born blind and cure the born lepers. On this, the shepherd took those men to his son who was sick for long and no one could help him. They prayed to Allah and the sick son of the shepherd was cured. The shepherd embraced the religion of Allah preached by Isa.
Hearing about the arrival of these men in the city, the man known as "mumin of ali Yasin", who believed in the advent of the Holy Prophet, even 680 years before his coming, came out from his retreat and embraced the true faith, and a great number of sick in the city were cured by the disciples of Isa.
The King, who was a stubborn non-believer, imprisoned those messengers of Isa. On hearing the fate of his messengers, Isa sent another of his disciple Simon who came to the city and pretended to belong to the King's faith (an example of taqiyyah) and gained influence over him. See Acts 11: 16.
Thus, the despatch of two messengers was more strengthened by the third from Isa. This refers to the first two, the Holy Prophet and Ali and later Jafar joining them at the instance of Abu Talib, while the Holy Prophet and Ali were praying once in the Ka-bah.
Simon's conduct here indicates the validity of taqiyyah and its proper use.

The Roman name of Habib was Theofulus. Like him there was a God-fearing man in Madina who embraced Islam as soon as he came to know that the Holy Prophet was inviting people to the true religion of Allah.
According to Tafsir Thalabi the Holy Prophet said that there were three persons who, without a moment of hesitation, responded to the call of three prophets: mumin of ali Firawn, mumin of ali Yasin, and Ali ibna abi Talib; and they never worshipped any god save Allah even for "the twinkling of an eye."
When Obayda bin Harith was fatally wounded in the battle of Badr, he told the Holy Prophet: "I wish Abu Talib were here to see that I am the first from his house to give my life in the cause of Allah."

One who deserves to be followed is a person who does not expect any reward or return. Secondly, he himself should be divinely guided-not seeking guidance from others (see Yunus: 35).

The lower stage develops into a higher stage which is known as change in continuity.

This verse indicates that not only the living beings, but also the plants exists in pairs which fact was not known to the people of the age as an universal proposition. It also points out the existence in pairs of kinds even beyond the animal and the plant realms.

Imam Ali said:
"There are suns and moons over the sun and the moon we see in the sky.
There are living beings in the stars who worship the true Lord of the worlds."

Ibn Arabi while interpreting "like it" (the ark of Nuh) says that it belonged to the Holy Prophet, on the basis of the well known saying of the Holy Prophet:
"My Ahlalbayt are like the ark of Nuh. Whosoever sails on it is safe, and whosoever holds back is drowned and lost."

Marqad means sleeping place, and ruqud means sleeping. It is a figurative reference to any stage wherein man is not aware of what is awaiting him in future.
The Holy Prophet has said:
"The people are asleep, when they die, they will awake."

The reward or punishment will be in consequence of one's own actions.

For those who lose their human form, there will be no progress or retrogressing.

Here poetry means conjecture based on imaginary ideas to excite human emotion.

In the evolutionary movements towards the ultimate shape, they will be as if they are of opposite form.

The stress laid on alim (knowing) is to show that no being without consciousness can have any creative power.

All processes of creation are the result of His will and attention. Thus every being is Allah's word .

Those who are immersed in the worldly pleasures are unable to have any communion with the exalted beings of the higher sphere, even if they try to steal a glimpse of that which is there.

The advent of the Holy Prophet was testified by earlier prophets. see Baqarah: 40, 89 and 253.

This and the next verse together indicate that evil doers will only suffer for their own misdeeds but the purified servants of Allah will enjoy the grace and blessings more and more. see Ya Sin: 54.

His progeny carried the torch of guidance to the present day through Ibrahim and his descendants up to the Holy Prophet and the Imams among his Ahlalbayt. see  Ali Imran: 33 and 34.

As said in v 83 those who follow the same creed are called shi-ahs, and this has become a term to distinguish those who follow Ali.
The Holy Prophet said:
"O Ali, you and your shi-ahs, on the day of resurrection, will be surrounded by light, honoured and successful."
Verses 88 and 89 refer to the worship of stars by the disbelievers which grieved Ibrahim very much.

Sleep is a state of partial consciousness for the prophets of Allah, so their dreams come true and are fulfilled. What Ibrahim, as a prophet of Allah, saw in his dream was as valid as an experience in wakefulness.
Ibrahim told Ismail what he saw in the dream as an indication, and Ismail accepted it as an imperative.
What Imam Husayn bin Ali saw in his dream in Madina was also an imperative. The Holy Prophet asked him: "Go to Iraq and give your life in the cause of Allah, because Allah has so willed."
In the case of Ismail the sacrifice was stopped but the sacrifice Husayn offered was accepted by Allah as dhibhin azim according to v 107.
Muhammad Iqbal, the poet of the east, has said;
"Ismail was the beginning, Husayn was the ultimate."

Shah Wali-ullah, in Sirrush Shahadaytan, and many other well known authors of traditions and history have accepted the fact that dhibhin azim refers to the sacrifice of Imam Husayn. See also my note in the commentary of v 83 to 113.


Whenever Musa and Harun are mentioned remember the well-known sayings of the Holy Prophet:
"O Ali, you are to me as Harun was to Musa. You and I are of one and the same light."

"We perpetuated" has been mentioned in v 108 after the mention of Ibrahim and Ismail who have been described as shi-ahs of Nuh in v 83, and then in v 119 it is again mentioned for Musa and Harun, and finally in v 129 after the mention of Ilyas. According to ziyarat waritha the Ahlalbayt of the Holy Prophet represent all the earlier prophets as stated in the above noted verses that Allah perpetuated their glory and praise in generations to come in later times.
As mentioned in history Ilyas or Ilyah or Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind to heaven when the people planned to kill him. He is still alive; and is represented by Ali ibn abi Talib.
In connection with the verses praising the Ahlalbayt, Ibn Hajar has written v 130 as the third verse in the eleventh chapter of his book Sawa-iq al Muhriqah and has stated therein on the authority of Ibn Abbas that "ali yasin" (or il yasin) means ali Muhammad. He writes that Kalbi also holds the same view. Fakhr al Din al Razi writes that the Ahlalbayt are at par with the Holy Prophet in five things:
(i) In salutation, for Allah said: "Peace be to you, O prophet." and He also said: "Peace be to the ali yasin."
(ii) In invoking the blessings of Allah during prayers, after each tashhahud.
(iii) In their purity, for Allah revealed the verses of purification (Ahzab: 33) for the Ahlalbayt.
(iv) In the sadqah (alms) being forbidden for them.
(v) In love, for Allah said: "Say: I ask you no recompense except that you love my kindred." (Shura: 23)

It is implied in these verses that there will be a time before the day of resurrection when Allah's forces will prevail over His enemies, a complete triumph of the divine guidance on earth and a victory for all those who had strived in the promotion of the divine mission. The doctrine of raj-at makes it clear that al Mahdi al-Qa-im will be sent by Allah with His hosts to establish an ideal Islamic society on the earth before the day of resurrection. see  Bara-at: 32 and 33.
Verses 67 to 75 of Zumar refer to the day of final resurrection, but before that in the days of al Qa-im those who played important role in the cause of Allah will rejoice in the kingdom of Allah and the chief opponents will suffer.

To restrict the application of this verse to the defeated pagans of Makka means limitation of the jurisdiction and scope of the mission of the Holy Prophet. v 178 and 179 confirm it.

This surah contains reminders about the chosen righteous servants of Allah.

They opposed the preaching of the divine mission tooth and nail because the society based on idol worship gave them influence, privileges and power to exploit the people as they liked. Even when they embraced Islam, they could not, on account of this tendency, accept as true the divine declaration so they demanded share in the authority and finally usurped it by turning their back on the covenant they made with Allah and His Prophet on the day of Ghadir Khum (see Ma-idah: 67).

The pagans, not only belied the medium through whom the divine guidance was conveyed, but also refused to believe in the revelation itself.

Verse 11 refers to the battle of Khandaq. see Ahzab: 1 to 3, 9 to 22 and 25.

While inspecting his thorough bred (khayr) horses Sulayman realised that the sun had set. Dhikr does not refer to compulsory prayers, because a prophet would not be forgetful of such prayers. It should therefore be normal remembrance of Allah. Some commentators say an (in v 32) means "due to" or "with a view to" because the horses were purchased for jihad in the cause of Allah.
In v 33 mas-ha means "to rub" or "to pass hand over". Like all lovers of horses, and particularly because they were to be used in the cause of Allah, he patted them on their necks and passed his hand over their forelegs and was satisfied with having them, not as vanities but as a lover of good (khayr). His review of horses was interrupted by his evening devotion, but he resumed it after performing his devotion.

"Shaytan has afflicted me with distress" refers to the hardships Ayyub had to face and overcome with the help of Allah in the cause of righteousness. The arch opponent of righteousness is Shaytan who represents rebellion, evil and disorder.

"Free from all other distractions of life" means keeping in mind only the ultimate end and abode.

This verse indicates that remembrance and commemoration of the lives of the chosen servants of Allah is highly rewarding.
The whole chapter is about the chosen servants of Allah.

According to the Ahlalbayt vice-regency (imamah) is the most important part of the divine message.
Verse 3 of an Naba confirms it. This was an issue among the angels in v 30 of al Baqarah. Again it has been described as a message of great importance in v 67 of this surah, from which man turns away as said in v 68; and v 69 again refers to v 30 of al Baqarah. For the vice-regency (imamah) Allah selects and appoints His own chosen representatives on the earth. The selection is not arbitrary. Only those whose submission to His will is absolute and unconditional due to which they remain in constant communion with Allah are chosen. see al Baqarah: 124. The doctrine of imamah has been represented in the Quran in various ways. Even the angels were not clear about this great message. They first disputed, then submitted to the will of Allah, but Shaytan rebelled and was condemned and cursed for ever for not accepting the imamah of the chosen representatives of Allah.
This condition of acceptance and rejection continued in the children of Adam in various forms and manners.

Taswiya and its derivatives are used in the Quran for Adam and for the Holy Prophet and other prophets. This refers to a very high state of realization by the cognitive self which enables to have an appropriate view of all things; and Adam was honoured with this quality. The angels' view was one sided. Refer to Hijr: 29.
There are two realms, physical and spiritual, az zahir (the manifest) and al batin (the hidden), and both are the manifestation of Allah's name.
Shaytan was proud of the power of fire, he was made of, and despised the infinite power of recipiency of clay from which Adam was made.

According to Shura: 23 the Holy Prophet was commanded to ask for a recompense as an exception to other prophets. The reward asked for was in the interest of those who want to find a way to their Lord, as stated in v 47 of Saba and Furqan: 57. The word "impostor" or "pretender" refers to the objection his followers raised when "love of his Ahlalbayt" was enjoined on them in Shura: 23.
Verse 87 refers to the recompense asked for in v 23 of Shura.

History is a witness to the fact that the whole mankind in general and the Muslims in particular have been turning to Ahlalbayt for true guidance, and from them alone they will receive it till the end of this world.

As per v 3 of Dukhan the whole Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet in the night of Qadr, but he recited it to the people as and when commanded by Allah which is described as the gradual revelation. see  Baqarah: 2 and my essay "The genuineness of the holy Quran."

To take guardians beside Allah without His permission is strictly prohibited.
Verse 55 of al Ma-idah says:
Verily, your guardian is Allah and His messenger and those who believe and establish the prayer, and give the poor-rate while they are (in the state of ruku) bowing down.
(see  Ma-idah: 55)


It is blasphemy, with no reason at all, to say that Isa was a son of God or an adopted son of God.
If Allah had a son, the Holy Prophet would certainly have been the first of (his) worshippers-says v 81 of Zukhruf.

Not in the order of conversion of the Makkans, but the Holy Prophet was the first Muslim in the order of whole creation, mentioned in Ali Imran: 184.

This verse is applicable to all the prophets and their testifiers. Among them the most distinguished are:
(i) Mumin ali Firawn,
(ii) Mumin ali Yasin,
(iii) Ali ibn abi Talib, the superior most among them.
Any view expressed by any commentator, not supported by the sayings of the Holy Prophet, should be rejected outright.

To a certain extent there is affinity between sleep and death. In the state of sleep, the cognitive self disassociates itself from the conscious world of senses but not from the body altogether, as the working of sub-conscious, unconscious or superconscious does not cease. The dreams are said to be the expression of any of them. The dreams of the prophets were the manifestation of the superconscious which revealed the unseen to them.

There is a general statement in this verse, addressed to people through the Holy Prophet. It implies that if the motivating drive behind any work done is not the service of Allah, it bears no fruit in the life of hereafter, because when any other than Allah is associated the main purpose of the deed is lost.

Those who associate others with Allah in authority have no idea of the absoluteness of His power or authority. v 92 of An-am and 74 of Hajj also have the same meanings. No one has any intrinsic power. Allah is the supreme authority. His authority will manifest itself on the day of resurrection to all creatures. All those who thought they had power or authority will appear before Him in abject submission. The state of the day of resurrection will be free from the laws of space and time and dimensional barriers (Anbiya: 104).

As v 70 of Qasas says Allah's is all praise, first and last.

This verse refers to the absolute sovereignty of the Lord of the worlds to whom alone belongs all praise and glory. see Baqarah: 255. According to the Ahlalbayt the throne (arsh) refers to absolute wisdom of the Lord and those who surround the divine wisdom on its outskirts are the angels and His chosen friends.

"Your hatred towards you" either refers to the hatred of one another if the last adverbial clause refers to the time of hatred or to the psychological state of self aversion if it refers to the clause preceding the hatred. When one realises one's failure on account of misdeeds self-aversion begins. This may refer to the mental condition of those who will be punished on the day of reckoning.

This verse and v 52 of Shura refer to the light of divine attention proceeding from Allah's command which is cast upon whomsoever of His servants (His prophet or messenger) He wills.

On the day of resurrection all creatures will witness the kingdom of justice, truth and righteousness duly established by the command of Allah, but those who have direct communion with Allah (His chosen representatives on the earth) know it before the day of resurrection.)

Prophet Yusuf introduced many reforms in the larger interest of the common people, but the privileged class did not like his policies and in order to stop their continuation, after his death, they announced that no prophet would come after him.

In this verse the mumin ali Firawn gives answer to Firawn's claim in v 36 and 37.

Verse 46 refers to the agony and torment they will suffer morning and evening after death till the day of resurrection. This is an intermediary stage where the enemies of Allah, like prisoners, according to Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq, will wait in a state of continuous torment, morning and evening, for the real punishment they will undergo after the day of reckoning.

All finite beings have the inherent shortcoming of not owning anything of their own. A dark object receives light from an illuminating source, but the light it receives never becomes its property. It is there so far the source is directed towards it; and as soon as its direction is changed the inherent darkness reappears. Whatever excellence a created being owns is a gift from Allah. No finite being has an existence of its own. Any degree of existence it has is a gift bestowed on it by the eternal source of existence and the moment it is withdrawn the existence of the finite being ceases to be. Among the finite beings, man is distinguished from other finite beings by the ability to receive more and more gifts of excellences from the infinite providence to cover inherent shortcomings. To obtain it he has to pray for it. This prayer is called istighfar (to seek a cover). There is no one among the finite beings who is exempt from istighfar. To receive more and more, continuous istighfar is necessary. Ordinary men are often unmindful of their shortcomings. The men of God are constantly alive to the danger of falling into the trap of shortcomings, so they make use of continuous istighfar. It is a virtue which all prophets of Allah proudly owned. It is also a way of life of the prophets to set an example to their followers. The Holy Prophet as the foremost guide in the order of devotion, submission and worship seeks protection against any remotest possibility of even an unintentional act of inadvertence and includes his faithful followers in his prayer. He is witness over witnesses. Refer to Bani Israil: 1 for the prayer of all the prophets behind the Holy Prophet. On the day of judgement every person will be worried for his own salvation but the Holy Prophet will represent the whole mankind for their salvation before Allah.
Therefore his istighfar is not only for himself but for all the believers. See Muhammad: 19 and Fath : 2.
Zanb, in connection with the Holy Prophet or any other prophet, does not mean sin.

The signs of Allah mentioned in this verse refer to the events which took place to destroy the people of Nuh, Hud, Salih, Lut, Shu-ayb, Firawn (in the times of Musa), mentioned particularly in Araf, Yunus and Hud. Whenever time of respite was past a destructive sign came by His command to annihilate the unjust in order to destroy the falsehood so that the truth could be preserved.

This verse also refers to those who exult in their knowledge of the laws governing the universe, without realising that they are merely discovering the laws made by Allah to administer the working of the created worlds, and from their own point of view unscientifically mock at any thing beyond the sphere of their observation and experiment .

This verse implies that even if the disbelievers give charity it cannot be termed zakat because unless alms are given for the sake and in the way of Allah it does not become an act of righteousness. The ungodly motives of the disbelievers make their alms-giving a pretence or a trick to hoodwink people and exploit them for their material gains.

Verse 11 may refer to the theory of nebula. According to Hijr: 16 and 17 all illuminating stars are arranged in the lower heaven. Then the other six heavens may be in the nebula.

Sa-iqa refers to any agency that causes instant destruction like thunder, lightning or meteor etcetera.

Right from beginning the opponents of Islam have been using every trick to create confusion in the minds of the people regarding the recitation, meanings and interpretation of the Quran. see  Hajj: 52 to 54 and my essay "The genuineness of the holy Quran".

The angels not only descend on the prophets but also on those who believe and remain steadfast. It is reported on the authority of the Ahlalbayt that the angels also descend on the true believers when they die in order to relieve the agony of death. v 31 confirms that they descend on the true believers from time to time with glad tidings. Authentic traditions confirm that angels descended on Imam Husayn and his comrades in the battle of Karbala because it was the highest manifestation of possible perseverance.

Inda rabbika (with your Lord) in this verse, as in Ali Imran: 169; Rad: 39; Hijr: 21; Nahl: 96 and Anbiya: 19, refers to a distinct nature of being in the presence of Allah. The mother book (the source of everything) is with Him. There are beings in His presence who constantly praise Him and pray to Him. This is purely a spiritual existence. Refer to Araf: 206 and Nur: 37.

As stated in Hijr: 9, there is no possibility of corrupting or tampering with the text of the Quran. Also refer to my essay "The genuineness of the holy Quran."

Truth always prevails. It spreads across to the uttermost corners of the earth, as it did in the case of Islam. Its intensive diffusion in the hearts and souls of people is even more extraordinary than its extensive spread. Makka where the mission of the Holy Prophet began became the hotbed of conspiracies and hostilities against the religion of Allah, but with a handful of godly men of distinguished valour, among whom Ali stands high and unique, the Holy Prophet destroyed the power base of evil beyond recovery. Refer to the defensive battles like Badr, Uhad, Khandaq, Khaybar, Hunayn etcetera, described in various verses of the Quran (Ali Imran: 13, 121 to 168; Anfal: 5 and 16; Baqarah: 214, 251; Ahzab: 1 to 3, 9 to 27, Bara-at: 25 to 27) and also found in all the authentic books of history written by the well-known Muslim as well as non-muslim scholars. There are several signs of Allah in these battles manifested through the valour of Ali ibn abi Talib which have no parallel in the history of mankind.
Allah is the absolute truth, so He Himself is the best witness. In one of his supplications Imam Ali said:
"O He who proves His (eternal) existence by His signs that exist in every thing."

According to Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq, Shura: 5 and Mumin: 7 are closely linked together.

Verses 10 to 21 of this surah assert that absolute authority belongs only to Allah in the realm of creation as well as in the realm of legislation. His sovereignty is delegated to the chosen prophets and their successors on the earth. The people of the book and the disbelievers differ in this arrangement in order to save their privileges and advantages. The Holy Prophet is commanded not to give any importance to their
opposition. The mission of the Holy Prophet, as decreed by Allah, was to do justice to friends and foes alike and preach the truth so that his opponents, who are also the opponents of Allah, may have no excuse whatsoever, and they may rely on Allah for their sustenance and pay attention to the life of hereafter.

Any argument to question the absolute authority of Allah is unacceptable.

Mizan implies the balance of mind, a God-given faculty, which is fully aware of the meanings and interpretation of all the revealed books.

Qurba means nearness. Fil qurba means for the sake of nearness.
The unanimous traditions of utmost authenticity assert that nearness to the Holy Prophet means love of his those relatives who are nearest to him in excellence and accomplishment. So, when he was asked to point out his relatives, he pronounced the names of Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and their children. There is not a single tradition of the Holy Prophet that qurba refers to the relatives of the Quraysh, or the relationship of the Holy Prophet with the Quraysh or the relatives of the believers, as concocted by the anti Ahlalbayt commentators. The structure of the verse proves that the Holy Prophet has been commanded to demand recompense, as an exception, not from every one, but from those believers mentioned in Furqan: 57-those who take the way to their Lord. The recompense is in the interest of the believers themselves, not in any way profitable to the Holy Prophet in his personal life.
Instead of arham (the blood relatives), qurba (neamess) has been used to show that not only relationship but also nearness in character and accomplishment is taken into consideration as the important quality. So, on the basis of this verse, love of the Ahlalbayt has become an obligatory function of the faith, a fundamental condition without which no amount of devotion to Allah and good deeds will be of any use.

Life is not confined to the earth. It is indicated in this verse that life in some form or other is existing in the millions of heavenly bodies scattered through space. The Almighty who created such countless beings has surely the power to bring them together when the trumpet is blown.

Consultation is to be made in the matters of personal relationship, not in the affairs of the society, that too when clear command of Allah or verdict of the Holy Prophet is not available. To administer and guide the collective as well as the individual life, all the commands of Allah and the Holy Prophet have to be followed in letter and spirit. Legislation and administration are not left to the mutual consultation of the people. see  Ali Imran: 159 and Nisa: 59. The ulil amr may consult people to win their good will, otherwise he has to follow the laws made by Allah to make his final decision.

Balagh means to deliver or convey the message which is the duty of a prophet. It also implies to guide those whom the message is conveyed to the end of the world which is the duty of a wali.
Refer to Ali Imran: 68; Yunus: 10; Nahl: 53 and 54 and Rum: 36.

These verses indirectly refer to Ismail and Ishaq  given to Ibrahim; Yahya given to Zakariya; Maryam to Imran and Bibi Fatima to the Holy Prophet; Hasan, Husayn and Zaynab to Ali; and all those wives of the Holy Prophet who did not give birth to any child, male or female.

This verse explains v 164 of Nisa-the discourse with Musa was through a medium, not in person.

Whatever the Holy Prophet did or said was as directed by Allah. He never let his own desire or inclination give any other colour to the divine plan. Refer to Saba: 50. All his deeds were in the highest degree of submission to the will of Allah as mentioned in Najm: 2 to 10. Rahman: 1 to 4 confirm that he did not learn anything from any mortal but was taught and educated by Allah Himself. Refer to Baqarah: 78. So there is no doubt that whatever Allah willed His prophet put into practice, as also indicated in Qasas: 56.
His likes and dislikes were a true mirror of Allah's likes and dislikes. Refer to Anfal: 17.

Istiwa refers to dominance, ability to tame or subdue the cattle.

As a contrast to the men of understanding are the ungrateful blasphemous disbelievers who attribute human characteristics to the absolute Lord. It appears expedient to them to understand and present Allah from the anthropomorphic point of view-conception or representation of God as having the form, personality, or attributes of man: ascription of human characteristics to that which is infinite and absolute. So, nothing should be attributed to Allah save that which has been revealed in the book or to the Holy Prophet.

This verse indicates that the gospel of tawhid (unity of Allah) shall be preserved and upheld by the descendants of Ibrahim only. see  Baqarah : 124. The gospel of tawhid implies submission to Allah and His commands. As stated in the commentary of Baqarah: 124, the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt, on account of their highest degree of submission to Allah, are nearest to Him- a distance of two bows, or even nearer (Najm: 9).

The men of the world, in all ages, give exclusive importance to wealth and worldly position. In their ignorance, they are unable to ascertain and appreciate the intellectual and spiritual standards of the descendants of Ibrahim selected by Allah to represent Him on the earth.

Allah distributes worldly possessions in order to test and distinguish one from another. They are not the real blessings. The pleasure of Allah is the real reward given to the righteous, the excellence of which is beyond the human imagination.

At the time of judgement the deceived souls of the followers of Shaytan will cry in agony: "Would that we had never come across the accursed Shaytan. Would that we were separated poles apart." The distance of two easts implies "east and west" which can never meet. The equivalent idiom in English is "poles apart."

"He" in v 61 refers to Isa. According to Sahih Muslim the Holy Prophet said:
"When Isa will descend from the heaven among you, the leader (of mankind) will be a man from among you."
see  Bara-at: 32, 33 for the reappearance of Imam Muhammad bin Hasan al Qa-im along with whom Isa will also come.

The Holy Prophet said:
"Every relationship and connection will be cut off on the day of judgement save my relationship and connection."

The purpose of referring to the awareness of physical experience and consciousness is to assert the fact that the life of hereafter is not devoid of consciousness and the faculty of receiving sensation. In fact they will be in a high developed stage. Whatever a soul desires will be there. As v 54 of Saba says a barrier shall be raised between the disbelievers and what they desire. For them the life of hereafter will be an abject deprivation.

The Holy Prophet said:
"My light was the first creation of Allah."
"I and Ali are from one and the same light."
The Ahlalbayt have said that as their light was the first creation of Allah, they were the first to worship Allah, before the angels.
To save his followers from the unpardonable sin of polytheism (shirk) the Holy Prophet asked them to always address him as the servant of Allah which is mentioned in every salat. Islam left no room for any kind of shirk to pollute the pure worship of Allah.

The abovenoted verses clearly prove that the whole Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet on the night of Qadr, and the gradual revelation refers to the occasions on which he was commanded by Allah to recite them to the people. see  Baqarah: 2 and Ta Ha: 114. Therefore if any theory, based upon conjecture, is put forward to state that the Holy Prophet was not aware of the full text of the Quran and knew it only as and when any portion was revealed to him, should be rejected.

The penalty referred here will be inflicted upon the disbelievers before the actual reckoning. As this affliction will afflict the whole humanity, only that prophet who was sent to all mankind as a warner and a bearer of glad tidings and a mercy unto the worlds will alone be able to pray to Allah to remove it.

It is true that unto the Bani Israil the largest number of prophets were sent, but this verse is governed and restricted by v 107 of Anbiya.

In v 42 "except such as receive Allah's mercy" implies intercession. Refer to Baqarah: 48 and other verses mentioned therein.

see  Kahf : 30 and 31; and Zukhraf: 69 to 73.
Verse 55 refers to the eternal satisfaction in the blissful life of the hereafter.

The Quran is easy to recite even if the reciter does not know the meaning of what he is reciting because its rhythm not only makes misreading improbable but carries off the soul to a higher spiritual plane. To get to its deepest meaning reference to the wisdom of the Ahlalbayt is essential.

Hadith means discourse, statement, announcement or exposition. It indicates that the Quran is not uncreated.

In the beginning of surah al Jathiyah man has been invited to reflect on the signs found in creation and in this surah the purposefulness of the creation has been asserted.

As said in Araf : 188 and other verses the prophets of Allah did not receive information or knowledge from any worldly source. They were endowed with divine wisdom.

This verse refers to Musa, as a witness of the Holy Prophet's divine mission, who gave the glad tidings of the advent of the Holy Prophet, also confirmed by Isa. see  Baqarah: 40 and 253 for their testimony.

In "as the messengers who were constant", according to the Ahlalbayt, the prophets who are referred to are Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, Isa and the Holy Prophet, the foremost among the messengers and prophets of Allah, being the axis on which the prophethood remains in motion.

The repeated reference to the belief in the Holy Prophet excludes the people of the book (Jews and Christians) from "the believers", though they may believe in Allah. because they do not believe in the final revelation (the Quran) revealed to the last messenger of Allah, the Holy Prophet.

When once the enemy is brought under control, the release of prisoners with or without ransom is recommended. The slaughter of captives was never allowed by Islam. How a believer deals with the captives is a test. Some take ransom, some let them go for the sake of Allah; and some take care of them, shelter them and feed them with no strings attached.

To preserve and keep alive goodness and righteousness in thought and action in the worst circumstances is the surest sign of firmness in faith. The weak in faith stumble at the slightest hint of inconvenience or by the faintest glimpse of advantage.

Verse 9 says that the good deeds of those who dislike any revelation, or even its part, are rendered null and void.
Tabari has reported the following conversation between Ibn Abbas and the second caliph:
"The elders of Quraysh did not like prophethood as well as caliphate to be given to the house of Hashim, so they chose their own candidate." said Umar.
Ibn Abbas quoted this verse and said: "No wonder the Quran had already pointed out those who dislike the revelations from Allah. If they had chosen the man whom Allah had chosen, it would have been better for them." see v 30.

Had Adam continued to live in the garden where he and Hawwa were first lodged, they would have remained satisfied with the physical pleasures and enjoyments available to them there, never knowing what are the intellectual and spiritual challenges man can face, and rise to the higher realm of spiritual perfection as the Holy Prophet did in the night of ascension (see Bani Israil: 1).

This verse was revealed when the Holy Prophet was migrating from Makka to Madina. This conveyed to the idolatrous Makkans clear prediction of their utter rout and annihilation-a great prophecy.

Whatever is described in this verse is a figurative presentation of the life of bliss and satisfaction in the hereafter.

Up to v 15 comparison has been made between the believers and the disbelievers.
From this verse the hypocrites have been described and identified.
All those who saw, heard and lived with the Holy Prophet, though they embraced Islam, were not alike in the degree of submission to Allah. Therefore the theory which propagates that all companions are righteous and guiding stars is contrary to the Quran.
According to Imam Ali there were men of ordinary intelligence and understanding among the companions, and among them were some who opposed the Holy Prophet, and some had no interest at all in the message he preached.

Istighfar is a request made to Allah to keep the supplicant free from sinning by His grace and mercy. It is the highest form of worship. Every true servant of Allah uses this means to stay away from falling unintentionally into the pit of sin and evil, but a divinely commissioned leader (Imam) not only prays for himself but also for those who follow him, because their welfare is his responsibility.

"If they were true to Allah" proves that they were not sincere and loyal. It is a condemnation. Ibn Abbas had interpreted this verse as such. The command of Allah must be obeyed. There is no room for personal opinions.

This verse refers to those hypocrites who remained under cover. Abu Said Khudri says that in the time of the Holy Prophet the believers used to recognise such hypocrites by the tone of their speech. Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari and Obadah ibn Thamit say:
"We used to test our children with the love they had for Ali."
The Holy Prophet said:
"O Ali, loves you not but a believer; and hates you not but a hypocrite."
Ahmad ibn Hanbal says that from v 22 onwards the reference is to Bani Umayyah.
In my opinion the tribe of Umayyah is included, but it cannot be confined to them, excluding other hypocrites from among the Quraysh who hated and actively opposed Ali on the pretext that risalat and imamat should not be given to the two sons of Bani Hashim.
Reproduced below is a conversation between Ibn Abbas and Umar bin Khattab, recorded by Ibn Athir in his Tarikh al Kamil. Allama Mutazili has also recorded it in his Sharh al Nahj al Balagha, vol. 3, p. 107.
Umar said: "O Ibn Abbas, do you know what made the ummah deprive you (Bani Hashim) of the khilafat after Muhammad?"
"The ummah," he continued, "did not want to see both the prophethood and the caliphate resting with you (Bani Hashim) for fear that you might injure the interests of the nation and trample her at your will. The Quraysh, therefore, chose the caliphate for themselves. They made a right decision and were successful in getting it."
Ibn Abbas said: "Regarding your remarks that the Quraysh chose the caliphate for themselves, that they were right and were successful in obtaining it, I have to observe that the Quraysh would have been right and none would have questioned their claim to the caliphate or been jealous of them only if they had chosen it for themselves in accordance with the will of Allah. As to the remark that the Quraysh did not want to see both the prophethood and the caliphate resting with us (Bani Hashim), I remind you of the words of Allah, who described a nation that disliked Allah's choice: 'This is because they disliked what Allah caused to descend and so Allah destroyed all their deeds (Muhammad: 9)."
Umar said: "Woe to you, Ibn Abbas, you have been reported to have said that we deprived you (Bani Hashim) of the caliphate through jealousy, injustice and oppression."
Ibn Abbas said: "As to injustice and oppression, all educated and uneducated persons know it to be so. As to jealousy, there is no wonder if you, as children of Adam, are jealous of us who are (also) his children."
Umar said: "By Allah, you (Bani Hashim) have always been jealous."
Ibn Abbas said: "You should not attribute the impurity of jealousy to the hearts of that group of persons from whom Allah has kept away all sorts of impurities and uncleanliness and purified them with a thorough purification."

"Will not ask for you possessions" is in no way connected with zakat and khums. It refers to the Holy Prophet regarding his return for his mission.

The last portion of this verse refers to the non-Arab people who would be more loyal to the true faith.

About the messengers and prophets of Allah the Quran says:
(i) They have been freed from any possibility of sinning.
(ii) Shaytan has no authority over them.
(iii) They follow nothing but revelation revealed to them by Allah.
(iv) They are always on the right path. So every man prays to Allah to keep him on the path of His chosen representatives (Fatihah: 7).
(v) Najm: 2 to 5 say:
"Your companion is not led astray, nor does he err, nor does he speak of his own inclination, it is naught but revelation revealed, taught him the mighty in power,"
Though the above verses refer to the Holy Prophet in particular, but they also cover all the prophets of Allah in general. Now if any sin is connected with them, the Quran would become an unreliable book.
The word zanb should be interpreted as the shortcomings necessitated by the nature of creation in all created beings, because Allah, the creator, is alone above and free of all inherent or intrinsic shortcomings. This is the fact towards which the Quran points out when it is said therein that Allah has freed His prophets from shortcomings and that the holy Ahlalbayt have been thoroughly purified, which is the result of ghafar (protection) He grants to His chosen servants.
Ghafir in this verse refers to the redress made available by His grace, otherwise victory in any sense cannot be the cause of forgiveness of any misdeed done under the influence of evil.
Zanb here refers to the state of mind of the Holy Prophet in view of the opposition of the disbelievers and the hypocrites to retard the progress of Islam, which came to an end by the decisive victory mentioned in verse one, political as well as spiritual. It is these kind of shortcomings which can be removed by the victory, or it can prevent its recurrence in future-the completion of Allah's favour on the Holy Prophet.
According to the Ahlalbayt zanb, in this verse, means the sin of the people, not of the Holy Prophet.

Those, to whose hearts the bounty of sakina (tranquillity) is sent down, never deviate from the right path under any circumstances. This is a manifest distinction on account of which a true believer can be recognised.

As mentioned in Araf: 157, the people must believe in the Holy Prophet, honour him and help him, and celebrate the glory of Allah day and night. Those who believe in the Holy Prophet, revere him and honour him, in fact, glorify Allah.

Some commentators say that "the people of mighty prowess" refers to the Romans or Persians against whom the Muslims fought after the Holy Prophet; but the prefix "sin" in satud-una indicates "near future" and also "if you turn back, as you have done before" refers to reversal and desertion which took place in Tabuk, Muta and Hunayn in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet.

Allah is pleased only with the believers to whom alone He sent down tranquillity which helped them to stand firm with the Holy Prophet in the subsequent battles. The hypocrites who were among the swearers of fealty and exposed themselves by running away from the battles were naturally not the recipients of the tranquillity. In other matters also they demonstrated lack of tranquillity before and after the revelation of this verse.

According to some commentators "those who are with him" refers to all those who were physically in his company, but the description given in this verse renders them inadmissible. The last portion of this verse confirms that only some of the companions are included, not all.

Unwarranted interference in the issues of religion already decided by the Holy Prophet emerged in full force after his departure from the world and continues in every age.
The occasion of revelation shows that the most prominent companions of the Holy Prophet indulged in what has been forbidden in these verses.
Bukhari says:
"The two good men were very near (a certain) perdition" (Kadal khayyiran an yahlika)
Notwithstanding this reprimand, according to Bukhari, disrespectful behaviour of the companions continued and lasted till the Holy Prophet's departure. The well known tradition of qirtas throws sufficient light on the ignorance of the companions.
Verse 3 mentions the men of sublime character around the Holy Prophet who are referred to in order to distinguish good from evil, because behaviour unto the Holy Prophet has been made a test of the faith of his followers.

As for how the insurgent should be dealt with all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence refer to the treatment Ali employed in Siffin, Jamal and Naharwan.
It is written in Bukhari, Muslim and other Sahihs that the party (Mu-awiyah) against whom Ammar bin Yasir fought and the group who killed him were referred to as baghi (insurgent) by the Holy Prophet as he had said long before the event that Ammar would be killed by an insurgent party.
While dealing with the abovenoted insurgents who, by fighting against the Imam of their time, became apostates, Imam Hasan tried to show them the right path and make peace, but the treacherous insurgents killed him, so Imam Husayn fought against them.

Real submission to the will of Allah creates iman (conviction which enters and abides in the heart). So those who say: "We submit," can be called Muslims but they are not mumins, whereas mumin is necessarily a muslim. Islam is the outer circle and iman is the inner core. Islam is submission and iman is the full realisation of the faith with complete conviction. Both can be verbal declaration without conviction, and both can be from the bottom of the heart, real and sincere.

The Quran draws man's attention to the continuity of the creation in space and time to prove the certainty of resurrection. Thus life in its various stages is an evolutionary continuity.


Either one should have a pure heart and understanding to mirror or reproduce the truth, or listen to and follow the "divinely endowed with wisdom" guides.

It is more likely that these verses refer to the advent of Imam Mahdi al Qa-im (see Bara-at: 32, 33) because the command to listen becomes meaningless if final resurrection is inferred as there will be no living beings to listen. The resurrection will begin after the blowing of the second trumpet.

This verse is likely to refer to the partial resurrection mentioned in Ta Ha: 102 and Naml: 83.

It is said that once Imam Ali ibn abi Talib was asked by a (kharaji) critic, while he was delivering a sermon from the pulpit: "What is dhariyat?" He said: "The winds." "What is hamilat?" He said:
"The clouds carrying rain." "What is jariyat that flow with ease?" He said: "The ships". "What is muqassimat?" He said: "The angels."
There is scattering of matter, carrying of energy and weight and flowing of bodies in the universe, which are controlled and administered by various agencies appointed by the supreme creator. Even the microscopic corpuscles in the blood of living beings, which distribute sustenance, are controlled and regulated by such agencies. So man's attention is drawn to the reality of an universal plan, not haphazard but governed by precise laws, and a purpose pointed out in v 5 and 6.

51:6 (see v 5)
The wicked and the pious are identified by how they receive the grace of Allah.

These verses refer to the subjective and the objective phenomena giving evidence of the existence of the creator.

This verse refers to the sublime regions proceeding from the absolute in the arc of descent, and not to the physical heavens.

Although the frontiers of space are confined, they are not fixed. They can be expanded.

The pairing may refer to the composite nature of the created beings, or to the positive and negative aspects in creation.

Verse 54 gives the impression that Allah might send a destructive visitation as manifestation of His wrath, but the next verse quells this apprehension. The guidance may be general in appearance, but it is directed towards man as an individual so that free from collective opinion or pressure, he may submit to the commands of Allah according to his ability and achieve success by following the divine plan.

This is the purpose of creation, as expressed in the holy book-to act according to the will and the command of Allah. The most perfect form of action is the absolute submission to His will, that is, Islam. Therefore of the creatures, whoever is better in manifesting His will and His command throughout life, will be closer to the purpose of creation, and therefore nearer to Him. The more perfect in obedience will be nearer to the creator, and the closer they are to Him, the more perfect they will be in the order of creation.

It clarifies that the purpose of creation (worship and obedience) is of no advantage or benefit to Allah. On the contrary, it is in the interest of the creatures to abide by His commands.

Dhanub literally means "a bucket full of water, tied to the end of a rope like a tail." Figuratively used it means the consequence of misdeeds and disobedience, tied to the rope of one's life.

This verse refers to the fundamental rule of all sciences that there is no effect if there is no cause. Nothing can come into being out of nothing or by itself.

Verses I to 8 assert the infallibility of the Holy Prophet in his movement between the creator and the creation, similar to the movement of the star in its orbit. He neither deviates nor does or say anything other than what is revealed to him. The degree of his realisation and knowledge of all that which has been created is as perfect as the creator, save the finest span between the finite and the infinite.
The first degree of realisation he reached is the scene of istiwa in the highest part of the horizon which is the highest stage of the angelic force, at which appear the two arcs-the arc of creation and the arc of godhead-to meet each other. Here the Holy Prophet and Jibrail heard a voice (saying):
"Glory be to Me. I am the Lord of the angels and the spirits. My mercy subdues My wrath."
Then moving further beyond the dualistic view, he entered the state of awaiting or pending (not terminated) between the finite and the infinite, joining point of the two arcs, after which comes the phase of aw adna where all dualistic considerations concerning the two arcs disappear. The whole becomes a circle wherein the absolute infinite manifests overall encompassment and penetration. At this stage of total submission and absorption, the Holy Prophet comes into direct communion with the infinite absolute and receives most important message which is known to him and his Lord.
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq said:
"It was in this state the command relating to wilayah or imamah with finality was revealed to the Holy Prophet."
The Imam further said that "what he saw" has nothing to do with the ordinary sense of seeing but it refers to the realisation the cognitive self of the Holy Prophet achieved.
Hawa, in the sense of inclination, implies that the stars in their movement are inclined to either go up or down. As their movement is regular, it becomes a guidance for mankind. The Quran draws man's attention to the conduct of the Holy Prophet which is nothing but carrying out the commands of Allah in letter and spirit-a guidance to mankind to find the right path in the darkness of worldly wanderings and temptations.
The assertion made in v 2 to 4 concerning his life in this world is not restricted to any particular event, aspect or period but applies to his entire life from the day he came in this world to the day he departed. Ali ibn abi Talib in the Nahj al Balagha describes the infallibility and the unique excellences of the Holy Prophet in the highest form of style and substance ever thought or said by any one till today

In astronomy, Sirius is the highest star, also called day star, in the firmament. It was worshipped by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and the pagan Arabs. Allah is the creator, the Lord-nourisher of the most magnificent creation, therefore worship is due to Him alone.

The minutest functions in the universe are subject to Allah's sovereignty, so the whole universe is before him in a single view at every moment.

According to Ibn Arabi it may refer to the advent of Imam Mahdi al Qa-im. see Bara-at: 32 and 33, Fat-h: 28 and Saff: 9.

Those who deny the miracle performed by the Holy Prophet will be punished as the people of Nuh were punished. Refer to v 9 to 15.

Man has been endowed with the faculties of contemplation and expression. The degree and the time of development of these endowments distinguishes one man from another. In prophets and their divinely chosen successors they are found in fully developed form from the day they are created. According to Najm: 1 to 10 the Holy Prophet, as the manifestation of the universal beneficence, precedes and surpasses all the messengers and prophets of Allah.
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq said that bayan is the greatest name of Allah, through which everything is known. It implies that man reflects whatever he receives from the divine source.

The perfect man, as a model or epitome of the universal balance or scale, is the infallible measure by which right and wrong in human conduct is evaluated.
Abu Talib said:
"Muhammad is the scale of truth which measures accurately to the minutest possible practice of quantity and quality."

The right to avail of the benefits and advantages emanating from the earth is given to every man by the beneficent (rahman) Lord. No one is deprived of the right. see "rahman" in al Fatihah: 1.

According to the Ahlalbayt the two streams refer to nabuwwah (prophethood) and imamah (divinely commissioned guides) which flow together and yet with a distinguishing line between them, assigning separate functions to each of them, so as not to create confusion. The Holy Prophet is the most perfect manifestation of nabuwwah and Ali is the most perfect manifestation of wilayah or imamah, and Fatimah is the distinguishing line between them which connects both of them. According to a tradition related by Salman Farsi, Ibn Jubayr and Sufyan Sawri recorded by Ibn Marduwayh and Jalal al Din al Suyuti the two oceans are Ali and Fatimah and the Holy Prophet is the link between them, Hasan and Husayn are the pearls.

All things in nature will pass away at their appointed time, but the only one that will endure for ever is the "face" of Allah. Refer to Qasas: 88. Face expresses glory, power, majesty, essence and all the noble attributes which we associate with the beautiful names of Allah. Refer to Baqarah: 122; Araf: 180 and Bani Israil: 110.

In addition to the day of 24 hours of the earth, yawm includes all the divine days and periods mentioned in Ibrahim: 5, in which any development takes places which points to the evolutionary process working in the universe.

Verse 33 clearly recognises the possibility of man going beyond the zones separating the heavens and the earth if he acquires knowledge by observation and contemplation, mentioned in the commentary of v 5, a theory considered impossible till the journey of man began in space.
If any attempt is made without knowing the laws made by Allah to govern the creation the consequence will be as mentioned in v 35- failure, disaster and destruction.

The final resurrection is not referred to in this verse, because on that day all the prophets and those to whom they were sent will be questioned as per v 6 to 8 of Araf.

All sorts of fruits in pairs correspond to various aspects of (i) faith and (ii) good deeds.

Each blessing in the life of hereafter corresponds to some good done in this world. Ayyashi narrates from Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq that the standard principle stated in this verse applies to every man, believer or disbeliever. To whomsoever good is done, he must return it with good with more good if he wants to have an edge over the man who took the first step to do good to him. This principle is also operative between the creator and the created beings, save that the creator free from all needs, does not need any favours.

According to the above verses resurrection must come and will come followed by the final judgement, because the process of creation bears testimony to the inevitable end, therefore no one should belie it or have false notions about it.

The people of "the right hand" in v 8 are those who incline towards the absolute, and the people of "the left hand" in v 9 are those who incline towards the illusory gains, and the foremost in v 10 are those whose obedience to the absolute is total and exclusive. Refer to my note in the commentary of Maryam: 71. These are those referred to in Anbiya: 101 (freed from all afflictions in the hereafter), in Fatir: 32 (the inheritors of the book).
The number of the foremost between the time of Adam and the advent of the Holy Prophet are many because in the terms sabiqun and muqarrabun (the foremost and the nearest to Allah) all the prophets and their divinely commissioned successors (awsiya) are included.
The Holy Prophet said:
"The guides (leaders) after me are twelve".
Therefore the foremost among the followers of the Holy Prophet are very few.
According to Sahih Bukhari, the Holy Prophet said:
"He who does not recognise the Imam of his age and leaves this world dies the death of ignorance."
In v 34 furush literally means carpet, or anything spread on the ground. In Dhariyat: 48 it has been used for the earth. Figuratively it has been used here for wives as the Holy Prophet has used it when he said: "The child belongs to the farash (bed-wife) and the wife belongs to the husband."
Verse 35 supports this interpretation.
The reward and punishment, the pleasure and torment, are described in terms of the physical world. The physical world is the manifestation of the spiritual world. The enjoyments and torments described in the terms of the physical world are figurative to give an idea of the real world.
See my note in the commentary of Maryam: 61.

To prove the evolutionary process of the development of the life from physical to transcendental the Quran refers to the process of creation-the development of a most intricate living being out of the most insignificant human seed (see Anam: 2; Araf: 12; Kahf: 37; Hajj: 5; Rum: 20; Muminum: 12 to 16; Fatir: 11 and Zumar: 6).

It is asserted that the life in the unknown realm is comparable to the life known to man therefore it is proved that man will have a conscious awareness of the life known to him.

(i) According to Buruj: 21 and 22 the Quran has a pre-revealed existence in the lawh mahfuz (the preserved tablet).
(ii) This existence is not material or physical, knowable to human senses.
(iii) The nature of this existence is spiritual and intellectual, so the word mass cannot refer to the sense of touch. It implies intellectual grasp because the inseparable pronoun in objective case (yamassuhu) either refers to the maknun book or the Quran which is hidden in the maknun book.
(iv) The clause la yamassuhu should be taken as purely of indicative and not of imperative significance.
(v) If there is a tradition which prohibits impure persons to touch the revealed version of the Quran, it should be taken as an imperative based on the indicative preposition as has been pointed out in the commentary of Saffat: 102-Ibrahim told Ismail his dream in an indicative form but Ismail treated the indicative as imperative.
(vi) The phrase al mutahharun (the purified) does not refer to those who purify themselves by a material purifying agent or by embracing Islam. In Abasa: 13 to 16 and Bayyinah: 2 and 3 this phrase has been used for purifying the book by Allah Himself. In Baqarah: 25 it is used to describe the wives purified by Allah.
(vii) The physical touch is partial because the surface of one thing touches the surface of another thing. In the case of intellectual touch the knower grasps the known in such a way that the known, the knowing and the knower become identifiable with each other. It is a total touch.
(viii) As the term touch requires, the toucher and the touched should be of the same class, otherwise the touch or grasp would be not possible.
(ix) Taking into consideration all these arguments, many commentators have said that the word mutahharun refers to the angels, accepting the principle that touching of the Quran in its original state of "well guarded tablet" is possible only if the toucher has been purified. Now if the application of the term is confined to the angels, the superior status given to man by Allah-He has appointed him as His vicegerent and commanded the angels to prostrate before him (see Baqarah: 30 to 39)-will be brought low which amounts to rebellion against Allah; particularly when Allah has thoroughly purified a group of human beings, the Ahlalbayt of the Holy Prophet, by His will and command in v 33 of Ahzab. These verses are inseparably linked with Ahzab: 33. On the basis of all these verses the Holy Prophet joined the Quran and his Ahlalbayt together (see hadith al thaqalayn on page 6) so that guidance, mercy and knowledge be available to mankind in all ages.
The Quran and sunnah, in unequivocal terms, have asserted the infallibility of the Ahlalbayt as well as the book of Allah.

If man thinks that life and death is not controlled by a supreme authority then he, as a conscious being having independent existence, should demonstrate his control over life and death, by bringing back the life after dying but he cannot do so as neither he is independent nor has he authority.

He is the first and the last, the manifest and the hidden, the real ever-existing supreme being. These attributes in their true sense cannot be applied to any save the infinite, the absolute and the eternal. Nothing can be said about Him save negation of the ideas and concepts applicable to the created beings of composite nature.
His presence with the created beings refers to His all embracing omnipresence and renders null and void all anthropomorphic concepts of godhead.

The gifts from Allah are both physical and intellectual. Close-fistedness in either field is punishable.

The righteous will bring the light from (the life of) the world because according to the Quran it will be running before them.

Physical companionship, even with the Holy Prophet, will be of no avail to the hypocrites, disbelievers, and evildoers.

Ayyashi narrates that once a disciple of Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq requested him to pray to Allah to bless him with martyrdom. The Imam said: "Every true believer is a martyr." Then he recited this verse. He further observed: "Whoever recognises the true vicegerents of Allah and sincerely expects that ultimately they shall take charge of the kingdom of Allah, is like him who fought with the Holy Prophet and gave his life in the cause of Allah in the presence of the Holy Prophet."

This world is a test, and the life hereafter is its consequence-punishment or reward.

All things happen as consequences that follow in accordance with the laws made by Allah. The recording of these consequences in a book refers to Allah's infinite knowledge, which is announced to man so that he may avoid distress.
Misfortune or good fortune may turn out to be illusory, therefore, men of God do not envy those who possess material possessions, nor do they exult if they have them, nor covet nor boast. If they are given bounties of Allah, they share them with other people as they consider them gifts of Allah. .

(i) All prophets of Allah came with clear evidences.
(ii) To every nation a prophet was sent who had a book with him (also refer to Nahl: 36).
(iii) The three aspects of divine sovereignty referred to here are (a) legislative (b) judicial (c) executive, by the terms (a) the book (b) the scale (c) and the iron.
(iv) Everything which exists here, whether concrete or abstract, is the revealed form of what is with Allah (see Hijr: 21).
(v) No book is without a scale. The relation of the scale to the book is the relation of a scale of a map to the map. The books represent the map of divine knowledge in revealed form, and no map can be of any use without a precise (infallible) scale. There is no doubt that the true scale for a book can only be an infallible man who himself is the microcosm of the whole universe (see Rahman: 7 to 9)
(vi) The scriptures prior to the Quran, limited in scope and application, had their corresponding scale; and the Quran (the final, completed, perfect and universal book) has its perfect and universal scale. Therefore the revealed scale, in this verse, does not refer to weighing or measuring physical objects.
(vii) Iron stands for strength, power, discipline and sanctions of law, and also one of the sources to have political and economic power, therefore it is a means of testing man's attitude towards the divine law and order.

It is asserted that prophethood and revelation have been exclusively reserved for the offspring of Nuh and Ibrahim. See Ali Imran: 33 and 34. Also refer to Fatir: 32. Those, among them, who were unjust, were discarded.

The effectiveness of du-a (invocation) has been asserted in these verses. The laws of Islam are not irrational or arbitrary but sense the needs of the people.

This verse refers to the omnipresence of Allah at all places with all things and beings, yet He is not one of any created being, nor He is part and parcel of any event or thing. see  Baqarah: 255; All Imran: 2 and 3 and Ma-idah: 73 to know about the falsehood of the theory of trinity. His omnipresence should be understood in the sense of the holder and that which is held. For example a cognitive self has complete hold over the ideas it creates, but does not become the integrated part and parcel of any of them.

Allah exalts some over others on account of merit. It is neither an arbitrary action nor it is due to worldly possessions or position. In Hujurat: 13 it is said that all human beings are equal in birth, came into existence from a male and female, so those who have more integrity (taqwa) -and according to this verse have belief and knowledge which are the inseparable essentials of taqwa-are exalted by Allah. See Nisa: 95 and Anam: 116.
In the light of Ankabut: 49, Muhammad: 16 and this verse those who have been given knowledge are exalted to the highest degree. All other created beings are inferior to them.

Since none save Ali paid the sadgah this ordinance was abrogated by v 13, because the divine plan to test and distinguish the true servants of Allah was fulfilled. It was only Ali who, like always, readily complied with Allah's command. All others drew back from carrying out this order due to niggardliness and fear of loss.
It is clear from the subsequent verses that the tone of the abrogating verse is reproachful.
Some partisan commentators try to change the past tense into present tense in v 13 in order to save their heroes. The verse clearly reproaches the companions by saying: "You did not do it."

These verses refer to the hypocrites who pretended to be believers but were in league with the disbelievers and the Jews.

This verse lays down the basis by which a true believer is distinguished from a hypocrite.
The prophets and the imams are always helped by a spiritual power from Allah which may be described as ruhul qudus (holy spirit), and the true believing followers are helped by the spirit of faith
(ruhul iman). Also see Ha Mim: 30.

As a military necessity, to put pressure on the rebellious transgressors and disgrace them, cutting of trees, not uprooting, was recommended. "By leave of Allah" implies that destruction or preservation of anything created is the sole prerogative of the creator Lord or of those whom He delegates His authority.

In addition to all that which has been said concerning the rights of the Ahlalbayt in Bani Israil: 26; Naml: 15 and 16; Nahl: 90, and Maryam: 2 to 15 and Hashr: 6 and 7, the fact that Fatimah was a mahajir should have been taken into consideration. Why not the share of other mahajirin was confiscated to enrich the public funds?

Quran is so forceful and convincing that it would affect a heartless mountain, but hearts of many men remain unmoved.

The goodness found in the created beings are the reflection of His inseparable attributes. He is the real owner of all excellences.

Islam enjoins kindness, fairplay and justice to non-violent non-muslims.

The last portion of this verse asserts that to believe that the people of the grave have no existence at all and are just dust and decayed bones is kufr (infidelity).

A solid cemented structure refers to order, discipline, cohesion and courage.

The light of guidance of Islam, its progress towards ultimate triumph over all other religions, will illuminate the whole world in the days of Imam Mahdi al Qa-im, the last living Imam in the progeny of the Holy Prophet, the last ring in the chain of the chosen line of Ibrahim. see Bara-at: 32 and 33; Fat-h: 28.

A similar event took place at the time of dawat dhil ashira. see Ali Imran: 52 and 53.

As stated in the commentary of Baqarah: 78 the Holy Prophet did not receive tutoring from any mortal being. Allah taught him the "book and wisdom" (Rahman: 2 and Najm: 5).
The Quran lays stress on the word ummi to point out that the appearance of a prophet among the ummies in order to educate and purify the whole mankind is a miracle.
The Holy Prophet, by reciting the revelations, attracted the attention of men and women around him; then, by turning their thoughts and feelings from sensual pursuits to intellectual and spiritual activity, he purified their hearts and minds, after which he taught them the book and the wisdom in order that they might apply the guidance in their day to day life.

In addition to what has been stated above. There is a wellknown tradition that at the time of the revelation of this verse the Holy Prophet referred to the people of Iran from where Salman came.

It is also a warning to those Muslims who learn the Quran by heart and recite its verses but do not follow its guidance.

A true wali (friend or lover) of Allah is not only free from the fear of death but awaits it at every turn and crossing of the path of his life with open arms.

Although hastening to the remembrance of Allah has been ordained in this verse, but there is no mention of the form of prayer. It was the Holy Prophet, the divinely authorised authority on the Quran, who showed the people how to pray every type of salat. The details and the conditions of ibadat (worship), mamilat (all social and individual activities) and siyasiyat (collective living) are decided and finalised according to the sayings and doings of the Holy Prophet and his authorised successors, the Imams of the Ahlalbayt, which is known as Islamic jurisprudence.
The right to call to congregational prayer, according to the Holy Prophet and the Imams of Ahlalbayt rests with the just or the divinely appointed head of the Islamic state and his appointed deputies.

Compare this passage with the verse Nur: 37. According to Jabir, whenever the caravans came, all used to leave masjid save a very few.

The testimony of the hypocrites, among the companions of the Holy Prophet, to his prophethood is stated in this verse as a fact, yet Allah bears witness that they are liars, because their verbal acclamation was not in accord with what was in their hearts. The history and the modus operandi of the hypocrites have been made clear by these verses.
The difference between nifaq and taqiyah is that nifaq shows belief outwardly and hides disbelief for worldly gains out of selfish motives, whereas taqiyah hides belief in the cause of Allah with godly motives.

It is a warning to those who try to strangle a right cause by putting economic pressure on the followers of the truth.

This verse refers to the sufferings of the infidels before the advent of Islam, and v 15 of Hashr refers to the sufferings of the infidels after the advent of Islam as the word qariban implies.

Every man is judged in view of his deeds concerning his self as soon as he dies, receiving rewards for good deeds or punishment for evil deeds; but for his deeds affecting social and collective life the final and abiding judgement will be made after the resurrection. He who has been commanded for his individual shortcomings may be forgiven on the day of judgement in the light of his obedience to divine laws in his social and collective life. Since the abiding loss or gain the day of judgement is described as the day of mutual loss or gain-yawmut taghabun.

Man must guard against the vain desires of his wives, children and relatives which, if complied with, lead to deviation and disobedience of Allah and His Prophet (strictly prohibited in v 12). It is recommended that they must not be harshly treated for their misguided promptings.

It is commanded to divorce a woman at a time when she is not in the period of menstruation while no cohabitation had taken place.
Abdullah bin Umar made a mistake in divorcing his wife. Bukhari and Muslim narrate that he divorced his wife when she was in menstruation. Knowing this the Holy Prophet asked Abdullah to withdraw his divorce and keep her as a wife till she was free from the monthly course, then wait for her next menstruation and when she became clear again he could divorce her without cohabitation.
The concluding words give the reason for the iddat. It also makes it clear that three pronouncements of divorce in a single space of time is illegal. This portion says that a reconciliation is possible, and is recommended, at any stage, which is not possible if three announcements as above are made.
For the teachings of the Imams of the Ahlalbayt see Baqarah: 231.
If desire and commitment "to safeguard against evil with full awareness of divine laws" exists, Allah often provides a solution in the most unexpected ways: worst enemies reach compromise and reconciliation, seemingly separated hearts are united and apparently irreparable injuries are healed.
"Perchance Allah may bring about some new situation" in v 1 and "Allah will make a way out for him" in v 2 verify the Shi-ah point of view that there should be intervals in the 3 pronouncements of talaq, so as to give opportunity to husband and wife for reconciliation.
If "WA MAN YATTAQILLAHA YAJ-AL LAHU MAKHRAJA" in v 2 and the whole v 3 is recited 100 times after praying a 2 rak-at salat after midnight before daybreak in 40 consecutive nights, the promise of "a new situation" and "a way out" will be fulfilled.
see Baqarah: 231 and Nisa: 35 for the rights of the wife and the husband.
It is said that when v 3 was revealed some simple-minded companions stopped making efforts to earn their livelihood, sat in their homes and recited this verse. Dependence upon Allah means not to rely upon people, events and sources for the fruits of labour but have full faith in Allah that He alone will return the recompense of labour, intelligence, learning and application man puts in his efforts to earn his sustenance, proportionate to that which has been invested. Allah's universal plan is always good and just. His ordering of the universe observes a due, just and perfect proportion.
He who depends on Allah (i) give thanks to Allah when he receives His bounties, (ii) never complains, nor turns to others, but bears with patience if he finds himself in distress and in want of earthly goods, (iii), gives what he is given by Allah to those who are in need and come to him for help.
For the waiting period (iddat) prescribed for women who have normal monthly course, or irregular monthly course, or carry life in their wombs refer to fiqh.
Allah's commands are not arbitrary. They help us, lead us to our good, temporal and spiritual. If we obey His commands, His wisdom and guidance solve our difficulties, remove the stink of immorality and ungodliness from our hearts and create in us discipline and order.
Those who disobey Allah's commands, and transgress the limits prescribed by Him, suffer humiliation and loss in this life and earn eternal punishment in the hereafter. Call to mind the fate of the people of Nuh, Salih, Lut, Shu-ayb and Firawn in the days of Musa, narrated in Araf, Hud, Yunus and other surahs and take warning. Laws relating to our fellow-beings in society, to our families and children in matters such as explained in the verses referred to above and in this surah are as important as any in our spiritual life. Those who take these laws light perish in this world and will suffer sure punishment in the hereafter.

Rasulan, in appositional case, qualifies dikr. The function stated here is that the signs of Allah are recited by him, therefore Jibrail is not referred to, but anzala is mostly used for the Quran, though in wider sense it can be used for other things as in Hijr: 21. The internal evidence suggests that it refers to the Holy Prophet. So dhikr is another divine title of the Holy Prophet whose life is a perfect example of remembering Allah.

To make a vow to do a thing which one has the option to do or not to do is permissible in Islam if there is good in it.
A husband can accommodate his wife's legitimate desires to a reasonable extent. Ma-idah: 89 gives details of expiation for cancelling the oath.
The recommendation in v 2 to the Holy Prophet to dissolve his oath is put forward in view of the insolent behaviour of A-isha and Hafsa described in v 3. The tone of the first two verses is like Bara-at: 43 wherein hypocrites have been blamed for falsehood.

Mere personal relationship or close association with the Holy Prophet, without faith and virtue can do no good.

The physical and spiritual spheres are closely connected with each other in the continuous working of the universe. There is no gap, nor discontinuity. This phenomenon is one of the signs of the unity of the creator.

In the nearest or the lowest heaven there are stars and planets etcetera, but the other heavens are different, free from the application of laws governing the material space of the lowest heaven.

In this verse the reference is to "man" in view of what has been said in v 13.

See my note in v 5. Here "heaven" refers to the omnipotent rule of Allah over all the spiritual and material realms.

As pointed out in Ma-idah: 17 Allah has the absolute authority over the entire universe.

Allah s authority manifests itself through His all-pervading grace.

Allah alone is the source of all benefits, material as well as spiritual. If one advantage to man's survival or progress disappears a new substitute appears. It is the law of nature as willed by Allah.

Nun, according to some traditions from the Ahlalbayt and Ibn Abbas, is ink or ink-holder because of the mention of pen. However neither the pen nor the ink, mentioned in this verse, refers to the tools of writing used by man. They refer to the recording of events taking place in this world by the angelical agencies. By inference it lays great emphasis on learning and knowledge.
The Holy Prophet, as said by Imam Ali, ever since his birth received guidance, wisdom and inspiration from Allah to condition and regulate all aspects of his life.

"Uncovering the shin" also means "a grievous and terrible calamity reaching its decisive stage." It refers to the day of resurrection.

Law la (had not) in v 49 is used not only to clear prophet Yunus from all possible blames but also to choose him and give him yet greater rank and station.

The resurrection is a reality certain to happen, so it has been described ashaqqul yaqin at several places in the Quran. The act of creation becomes meaningless if there is no accountability. see  the verses of Waqi-ah.

There are people who hear the words of guidance but for want of will or lack of true faith do not retain them; but those who strive to come nearest to Allah and reach perfection in every good that Allah has described in the Quran, carefully preserve every word revealed by Allah and never let satanic forces divert their attention from the right path.
According to Tafsir al Husayni, Hilyatul Awliya, Kashshaf, Thalabi, Ibn abi Hatim, Ibn Marduwayh and Ibn Asakir the following saying of the Holy Prophet holds Ali as the perfect example of retaining divine guidance:
"O Ali, Allah has commanded me to keep you near me at all time. I prayed to Allah that your faculties of hearing and keeping in mind should be so perfect that whatever wisdom and knowledge you receive from Allah and me is preserved in your heart and mind for ever. Allah has commanded me to tell you all that which He reveals to me."

It is the tendency of evil-doers that when they suffer the consequences of their evil deeds, they curse the circumstances and canvassers through whom they came to know about evil.
The consequences of sin grow and extend and become a long chain that holds the sinner in abject disgrace. Seventy, as seven in Baqarah: 29 (see its commentary), implies an indefinitely large number. Also see  Hijr: 44. Number seven has been referred to in the Quran at many places.

The disbelievers, as stated in the commentary of Anfal: 32, and a hypocrite as stated in these verses, demanded to experience torment from Allah, which on both occasions seized them. According to Quran punishment to the unjust, sooner or later, in some stage or other, in the course of the progress of the worldly material life to spiritual hereafter is inevitable, as stated in Waqi-ah and Haqqah.

Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir told Abu Bathir that the right path mentioned in v 30 of Ahqaf is referred to in this verse.
According to Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq the water in this verse stands for the knowledge and insight into higher things which is available to those who follow the teachings of the Imams of the Ahlalbayt.

Masjid means a place where one lays or bends with face on the ground in humble reverence-prostration. Figuratively it is used to refer to a place of worship. According to the Ahlalbayt, in this verse, masajid (plural of masjid) also refer to the parts of the body which are used in prostration-palms, knees, feet (toes) and forehead.
Imam Muhammad bin Ali at Taqi advised the Abbasi caliph not to cut the portion of the hands of a thief above the four fingers, because the palms are used in the act of prostration.

The knowledge of Allah is infinite. In the light of these verses the knowledge of the infinite had been transferred to the Holy Prophet, so that his finite wisdom should manifest the wisdom of the infinite. In this way the infinite is the real knower and the finite is the depository of acquired knowledge. Therefore whatever the Holy Prophet said to inform people about the unseen is from Allah and therefore true.
These verses also assert that the actions of the Holy Prophet were so in accord with Allah's will and command that his reliability and his sinlessness are guaranteed. There was no question of any error or mistake being committed by him.

The epithets Muzzammil and Muddaththir (the name of the next surah) are used to address the Holy Prophet. It means "folded in a sheet, as one renouncing the vanities of this world", or "separating himself from all worldly engagements for the purpose of meditation." Here it refers to the Holy Prophet's preparedness at the eve of his mission to receive the divine command to guide mankind. The actual meaning is: O he who is girded to undertake that which has been mentioned in v 5.

It means the Quran was with the Holy Prophet. He knew every word of it. Here the people are advised through him to recite it in slow and measured tones.

The responsibility to guide mankind described as weighty in this verse has been referred to as a burden in Inshirah: 2 for which he needed a supporter as Musa had Harun to assist him (see Ta Ha: 9 to 98)-as v 15 and 16 of this surah imply and infer.

Verses 1 to 19 were revealed in the early period of the Holy Prophet's ministry. v 10 to 19 refer to the period when opposition to his preaching was started. v 20 refers to the period when jihad was ordained. The Ahlalbayt in particular and the Muslims in general have asserted this chapter to be complete and wellarranged, so it can be recited in the prayers.

This verse explains v 2 and 3.
"A party of those with you" refers to Ali and Abu Dhar according to authentic traditions.
As this verse deals with the command which makes easy praying of tahajjud salat the recitation of the Quran refers to its portions to be recited in the said salat.
The first and the last verses, if studied together, make it clear that though the night prayer (tahajjud) is highly desirable, yet is not obligatory. There is no compulsion to recite a complete surah in it, whereas in obligatory prayers recitation of a complete surah is compulsory.
Allah knew that if night prayer (tahajjud) was made compulsory a large number of believers would not be able to comply with the command, therefore, from the very beginning it was left to the discretion of the believers.

Magnify your Lord by saying Allahu akbar in prayers and at all occasions and by making known the absolute authority of Allah and His infinite might and wisdom over the whole creation.

Thiyab literally means a cloth which covers the body, but as interpreted by the Ahlalbayt, it is used here to point out the nature, attributes and style which surround the inner self, and also the external environment in which a man lives.

Rujz or rijz (abomination) such as idols diverts man from Allah, therefore it should be avoided. see  Hajj: 30, wherein this idea has been comprehensively dealt with.
The spiritual bliss is available to those who give but expect nothing from the receiver.

All interpretations of number nineteen, based upon conjecture, should not be taken as true. The text of v 31 itself gives the reason for the mention of this number. It is only a trial which creates aversion in the hearts of the disbelievers and the hypocrites and increases faith and conviction in the hearts of the believers. The verse further makes it known that Allah alone knows the (number of) forces at His command, and further explains it by stating that He leaves to stray whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases. The act or will of Allah creates different reactions in men according to the nature of their receptivity. see Fatihah: 5 for action and reaction.
Hiya (this) in the last sentence of v 31 refers to the warning given above that by the act of Allah some receive guidance and some go astray.

This verse asserts that man is responsible for his reaction to the action of Allah because he has been given free will to choose or reject the right guidance.

Man's reaction to Allah's action is the result of his own free will. see  Fatihah: 5 for action and reaction.

In fact no sinner disbelieves in the hereafter, but his sensual lust prevails over his reasoning and makes him wander away from the path of righteousness.

The word tuhibbuna in plural indicates that the people are addressed in v 16, not the Holy Prophet, and points out the human nature referred to above. Those who use intellect and reasoning, control and discipline the nature of enjoying the fleeting life are able to surrender themselves to the will of Allah and follow His guidance.

Ibtila means trial. It has been used in the Quran in the sense that Allah provides opportunities to man to develop the faculties of intellect, reason and power to distinguish between good and evil, given to him by Allah, because through His prophet of highest spiritual standing he has been shown the right path. The divine guidance has been made available to man so that he may exercise his free will and choose either good or evil for which he is responsible and accountable.

If in hubbihi (for the love of Him) in v 8 the pronoun "Him" refers to Allah the phrase would be adverbial modifying yatimuna; and if it refers to ta-am (food) then the phrase would be adjectival qualifying food, meaning: inspite of the food being wanted for themselves-in view of v 92 of Ali Imran this interpretation is preferable. However both the interpretations are valid and convey the same significance..

The heavenly bliss here and in other places has been described to give an idea to man in his own imagery. In fact man will reach the height of his dignity in paradise with reference to his nearness to Allah. see Rad: 15.

This verse may refer to the change of form mentioned in Waqi-ah: 61 and 62; or substitution with another generation as stated in v 38 of Muhammad.

Mursalat, in addition to the winds sent forth, refers to all the communicating agencies who convey the divine blessings and grace to the created beings in various stages and realms, such as prophets, angels and other conscious and unconscious functionaries in the activity of communication.

The beliers were given plain and clear guidance but they refused to accept it.

Naba-il azim (the great news) here and in v 67 of Sad, refers to the vicegerency of man to represent Allah on the earth in order to exercise authority on His behalf, i.e. imamah or wilayah.
According to many commentators it may refer to the day of resurrection, or the prophethood of the Holy Prophet, or the Quran. Refer to my arguments given in the commentary of Sad: 67. Although all of them are great and fundamental yet discussion, opposition or disagreement among the human beings concerning their actuality is a regular exercise. So far as the angelical realm is concerned we find no trace of any such behaviour save at the time of the appointment of Adam (man) as the vicegerent (khalifah) of Allah. The angels expressed their disapproval, but yielded to reason when it was proved to them that they were inferior to Adam in knowledge and wisdom because of which Adam was appointed as the vicegerent of Allah. So it was the beginning of controversy regarding the vicegerency of Allah. In every age imamah or wilayah is the most bitterly disputed issue.
Even those who believe in Allah, the revealed scriptures, the angels, the resurrection and the prophets of Allah refuse to accept the fact that there is always a divinely chosen representative of Allah on the earth who by his absolute submission to Allah (abdiyat) and total control over human shortcomings reaches the stage of fanafiallah (absolute absorption of divine attributes) and baqiya-billah (acting on behalf of Allah as His instrument) as explained in the commentary of Ma-idah: 54 to 58 and Anam: 17.
Hafiz Abu Nu-aym in Hilyatul Awliya says that the Holy Prophet told his companions: "Naba-il-azim (the great news) refers to the wilayah of Ali ibn abi Talib."
see  Ma-idah: 67 for the wilayah of Ali ibn abi Talib. Therefore wilayah of Imam Ali is the decisive test of man's submission to Allah's authority. Man shall not be able to avoid or escape from acceptance of Ali's wilayah as v 4 and 5 assert.
In subsequent verses the process of creation demonstrates the evidence of divine plan and purpose which shall culminate in resurrection after which a new world will come into being. The process of developing matter from its lowest form to the highest form, which is human form, has to be carried out by the help of a pivotal entity to function as a medium between the finite and the infinite. Not only in the human society functioning in this world but also in the greater society which will come into being after the day of judgement the pivotal agency is indispensable. In fact the centre of gravitation of any collective existence has to be created before its formation. On this basis imamah or khilafat was bestowed on man and then the human race began to spread over the world and it shall continue to function till the human society reaches its final destination.
Ibn Arabi has rightly observed:
"The day of resurrection and wilayah of Ali ibn abi Talib are the two sides of one reality."
Ali is "the great news". He is the ark of Nuh. In him and in every Imam in his progeny is confined all that which has been created (Ya Sin: 12). Khawja Muinuddin Chishti, a great saint of India, has said: "Those who sought protection through "Ya Sin" killed the imamun mabin".
So he clearly says that "imamum mabin" in v 12 of Ya Sin refers to Imam Husayn son of Ali ibn abi Talib. It refers to all the Imams of the Ahlalbayt. Also see Baqarah: 2 and Ya Sin: 12.

On the day of resurrection, both the Shi-ah and Sunni scholars agree, all human beings will be sorted out according to the deeds each had done in this world and men and women of similar character will be gathered in groups representing their disposition, and each group will take a form which will identify their dominant quality. For example the worst among them will take the form of dogs and swines-the body will be a manifestation of soul. As those changes refer to the life of hereafter, therefore the doctrine of transmigration (the return of the departed soul in another physical body in this world) cannot be proved by such verses in the Quran.

Mountains give the idea of firmness and stability, but they will vanish on the day of resurrection as if they were a mirage which means everything material is transitory.

see  Furqan: 74. The muttaqin shall obtain salvation through their Imams. Also see  Bani Israil: 71.

None shall have the right to address Allah to seek blessings or address others to convey His blessings save those whom He gives permission (the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt). see Baqarah: 143; All Imran: 18; and Najm: 2 to 5.
Verse 4 of Qadr confirms v 38 of this surah that ruh (spirits) and malak (angels) are two different entities of the spiritual world.

see  Furqan: 57. The only way to salvation is the love of those attached with the Holy Prophet in body and soul as mentioned in Shura: 23. .

The first 3 verses refer to the preparatory work before any divine will takes effect which sets in motion that which is willed. v 4 and 5 refer to the administration or operation of the consequences of the divine will. The forces working in the universe operate in harmony under the laws made by the creator. There is no reason to restrict its application or reference to any particular agency. see  Saffat: 1 to 3; Dhariyat: 1 to 4 and Mursalat: 1 to 5.

Daha means further expansion of the earth. It may refer to the upper soil of the earth which grows food for all the created beings.

The whole system of universe is in motion and progress. It is Allah unto whom the motion shall terminate.
In the awakening, referred to in v 14, the conscious self shall be in a state free from the bounds of time and space. The whole system of four dimensions will appear to him even less than a part of an ordinary day of this world.

The commentators who have depended on the sources, other than the Ahlalbayt, say that the nominative pronoun in v 1, the subjective pronoun in v 2, and the pronouns in v 3, 6, 7 and 8 refer to the Holy Prophet. It is a deliberate attempt to belie the infallibility of the Holy Prophet.

According to the Ahlalbayt the physical universe will disintegrate. A dimensional thing is not eternal. There was a time when no dimensional being was in existence. When a dimensional existence is created, it completes its development and then disappears. Man does not know how many systems like the solar system) have completed their terms, and how many are in the process of development, and how many will come into being in the future.

Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said:
"The command on that day (day of judgement) and today is Allah's, but on that day the subordinate authorities (at a certain stage) will not be visible."
The manifestation of Allah's absolute authority is like the sun, when it shines all the stars disappear, though they are there, deriving the light from the sun.

Willing surrender to the life of sin is the cause of the disintegration of soul, so it is the sinner who is responsible for his disgrace on the day of judgement.

The literal meaning of shahidin wa mash-hud is clear, but its application has been explained in a variety of ways by different commentators.
Imam Hasan bin Ali al Mujtaba said:
"Shahid is the Holy Prophet and mash-hud refers to the day of resurrection."

The Quran condemns not only the cruel persecutors but also those who witnessed the cruelties and did not take steps to prevent persecution, nor even said a word of disapproval. It was a warning to the pagans of Makka who were persecuting those who accepted Islam as their religion. It also refers to those who persecuted and killed the Imams of the Ahlalbayt and their followers.
In Ziyarat Imam Husayn it is said:
"O Allah, curse those who persecuted you, and also those who hear about it and remain agreeable to it, or rejoice."

Tariq means "who knocks or hammers or beats". It is also used for a nocturnal traveller who tramples the ground. Here it is used as a star of piercing brightness (see v 3). According to the Ahlalbayt it refers to a star which traverses all the spheres in the universe and returns to its starting point. It can be applied figuratively to the Holy Prophet whose wisdom and mercy encompassed all the physical and spiritual spheres of the universe. As said in v 4, the Holy Prophet is a watcher over every soul. It is in conformity with all the verses which assert the Holy Prophet as a supreme and universal witness over all witnesses. see Baqarah: 143 and other references mentioned therein.

The creator who has created man, the most complicated form of an organic being, from an emitted drop can surely let him take a higher intricate form to proceed unto its maker by making use of the special qualities and capacities given to him by Allah. Refer to Yasin: 77 to 82.

The Holy Prophet asked his followers to recite this verse in the state of prostration, as he had asked them to recite v 96 of Waqi-ah in the state of ruku (bowing).
When any name (attribute) of Allah is glorified it must be kept in mind that there is no resemblance whatsoever when the same attribute is attributed to a finite being. see  Fatihah: 1 and Hashr: 22 to 24.

Any tradition which narrates that the Holy Prophet did not remember the verses of the Quran or some parts of the prayers must be treated as spurious in the light of this verse. see  Baqarah: 78; Mumin: 55, Muhammad: 15 and 19 and Fat-h: 2 to know the reasons for attributing ordinary human frailties to the Holy Prophet. If it was possible that he could forget any of his duties, the people would not have been commanded by Allah to follow and obey him. The Holy Prophet is protected from forgetting his duties.
It is said in v 108 of Hud that those who will be blessed shall abide in paradise so long as the heavens and the earth survive except if Allah wills otherwise. Although Allah has the power to do what He wills but the exception mentioned may not be willed as His grace once willed will not be reversed in the life of hereafter. The exception in these verses is similar to the exception mentioned in the above noted verse.

The enjoyments referred to in these verses are the figurative presentation of the heavenly bliss which the souls of the righteous will live through.

The authority of Allah is absolute, yet all the functionaries carrying out His authority on His behalf, such as the prophets, the Imams as their successors, the angels and the spirits, are authorised by Him to execute His will.

In addition to that which has been said above about the ten nights some commentators say that the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan are referred to here. Some say that fajr refers to the Holy Prophet, shaf to Hasan and Husayn, watr to Fatimah and ashr to Ali and other nine Imams, but this interpretation has not been supported by any authentic tradition from the Ahlalbayt.

Neither nations nor individuals, however mighty, can survive if they transgress the laws made (willed) by Allah. They may have a few days of respite but eventually they fall and disappear from the face of the earth. Allah watches the doings of the wicked.

In v 22 "Your Lord comes" means the manifestation of His authority, as has been said in Baqarah: 210.

The righteous will be welcomed to a life free from pain, sorrow, doubt, struggle, desire and disappointment. They will be at rest, in peace, in a state of complete satisfaction. This stage of soul is the final stage of bliss.
The state in which the soul seeks fulfillment of the lower earthly desires, transgressing the bounds prescribed by the laws of Allah, is called ammarah (see Yusuf: 53 and Qiyamah: 2); and the self-reproaching soul that feels the evil of sin and resists it is called lawwama; and the soul which has controlled and tamed all desires and surrendered to the will of Allah is called mutma-innah.

Hillum in v 2 means an unrestrained resident or inhabitant who was given unfettered freedom to exercise divinely delegated authority to do what he liked (and the Holy Prophet always did what Allah liked) in order to purify the people and the place. The Holy Prophet at last entered Makka with full authority to purify it from all idols and abominations, reestablished the worship of one true God, overthrew the rule of the pagan autocracy, and restored the honour of the righteous.

The begetter refers to Adam as the divinely chosen vicegerent of Allah and "that which he begot" refers to the divinely chosen representatives of Allah sent to guide mankind.

Tala means to follow a thing or person as a principal source in consequence of total adherence. The follower derives his strength from him who is followed. see Hud: 17.

Wahidi, in Asbab al Nuzul, narrates on the authority of Ibn Abbas that there was a poor man with a large family whose children used to collect and eat the dates fell from a branch of palm tree, belonging to another man but leaning in his house. More often the owner would at once rush to his house and snatch the fallen dates from the hands of the children and sometimes even from their mouths. The poor man went to the Holy Prophet and asked for his advice. The Holy Prophet asked the owner if he would give him the tree in exchange for a tree in paradise. The owner did not accept the offer. Abu Huddah said: "O messenger of Allah, if you promise me the same I will buy the tree and give it to you." The Holy Prophet agreed. Abu Huddah purchased that tree and presented it to the Holy Prophet who gave it to the poor man. The occasion of revelation of any verse does not restrict its significance. The word of Allah is applicable in all times.
Imam Jafar bin Muhammad as Sadiq said:
"Good deeds along with sincere belief in Allah and His religion shall obtain salvation and eternal happiness in the hereafter."

An unequivocal assurance is given to the Holy Prophet that whatever satisfies him will be given to him. v 6 to 8 say that he was always under the constant care and protection of Allah. In all these verses "He found him" is mentioned with the conjunctive particle fa which is used to say that as soon as Allah found him in any condition an action was taken as a consequence without any lapse of time between His finding and the action taken. There cannot be any gap or lapse of time between the creation of Muhammad and the grant of wisdom and guidance to him as well as availability of full satisfaction to his needs from the commencement of his existence in physical as well as in spiritual realms. So v 2 to 10 of Najm and v 1 to 4 of Rahman confirm these verses that the Holy Prophet is infallible.

"Exalted your fame" refers to the name of the Holy Prophet pronounced in every azan (call to prayer) and in tashahhud recited in every prayer in the form of salawat (salutation on him and his Ahlalbayt). see Ahzab: 56.

In the light of the meanings of surah ad Duha and al Inshirah no other translation or interpretation of v 7 seems appropriate except "So when you have completed (the duties of your ministry), then establish (your successorship)." In this early Makkan surah, after referring to the weighty task of conveying the last guidance from Allah to mankind, the Holy Prophet is asked to keep in mind the equally important task of establishing the institution of keeping alive the purity of the divine guidance (Islam) in all ages which will have to be carried out at the time and place chosen by Allah. The equally weighty or important task is the establishment, continuation and perpetuation of the guidance of Allah (see Qasas: 51, by nominating and appointing his successor who shall act as a guardian and exponent of all that he has conveyed and preached. In al Ma-idah, last revealed surah, v 67 was revealed in the closing days of his ministry, after execution of which its v 3 was revealed (see both verses). After completing the tasks of preaching and establishing his successorship he is given the option to return to his Lord with satisfaction of having fulfilled the divine command.

Ghayru mamnun means "not broken off" or "never to be cut off". It clearly asserts that those who believe and do good deeds (faith and righteousness) occupy the highest position among all created beings, and the best among them are chosen as vicegerents of Allah, so the doctrines of "original sin" and "fall of Adam" are contrary to the teachings of the Quran. Adam and all other chosen representatives of Allah in his progeny belong to this category-ahsani taqwim, the best created beings. The abased or reverted (radad) are those who fail to follow the divine guidance after Adam settled on the earth. See Baqarah: 38 and 39.
As the human mould is the best in the creation the men of faith and righteousness retain it in all the stages of their movement unto the creator.

According to Majmaul Bayan, with the particle ba the translation is "Read in the name of Your Lord," and without ba it would be: "Read the name of your Lord", which is the actual meaning of this verse.
In the light of that which is stated in the commentary of Baqarah: 2, 30 to 39, 78; Ali Imran: 7, 48; Ahzab: 21; Zumar: 23; Mumin: 55; Muhammad: 15, 19; Fat-h: 2; Jinn: 26, 27; Takwir: 19 to 21 and in several other verses of the Quran, all that which has been said in connection with the revelation of the first 5 verses of this surah, as the first revelation, are based upon conjecture; and form the root of all derogatory charges levelled against the Holy Prophet by the enemies of Islam. When such slanderous and censorious observations appear in books and magazines, the Muslim ummah makes a hue and cry in a violent frenzy, without realising the fact that it is their own historians and commentators who have supplied the material on which the conclusions are made by the anti-muslim authors. The life of the Holy Prophet, from his birth to the end, has been described by Imam Ali ibn abi Talib at several places in the Nahj al Balagha, which is the most authentic point of view expressed by any of his biographers till today. The Holy Prophet was taught and tutored by Allah Himself, as stated in Rahman and Najm. He was under the divine care all the time. Since his birth he was fully alive to the task of preaching and conveying the divine message for which he was chosen when Adam was not even created. He was a light, though he lived like a human among people, blessed with divine wisdom, mercy and guidance in order to guide the human beings in all times. See Nisa: 79, Ahzab: 45 to 47; Saba: 28 and Anbiya: 107. According to Najm 9 he was as perfect as his Lord with a fine line of demarcation between the finite and the infinite, on account of which we say in "tashahhud" of every salat that "he is the servant and the messenger of Allah."
The Holy Prophet said:
"My light was created when Adam was not even in the process of creation.. I and Ali were created from one and the same light."
Iqra (read, recite or proclaim) implies that the Holy Prophet knew all the names of Allah which carry the essence of creation and legislation. So he knew the book of Allah also. As said in v 77 to 79 of Waqi-ah the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt alone, in addition to Allah, are aware of the book kept well-guarded in lawh mahfuz. Here he was commanded to recite or read which he already knew. It was the beginning of the gradual revelation. See Ta Ha: 114 and Qiyamah: 16 to 19. v 3 repeats the command to recite, and v 4 and 5 say that Allah has already taught everything which if read with Rahman: 1 to 4 clearly implies that the Holy Prophet who was sent as rahmatun lil alamin (mercy unto the worlds), representing the universal divine grace, was taught by Arrahman as soon as he was created. Thus bi-that does not mean the beginning of his prophethood, but it refers to the beginning of his ministry.

The night of qadr is in the month of Ramadan. See Baqarah: 185 and Dukhan: 1 to 3 wherein it is stated that the whole Quran was revealed in this night. The descension of the angels and the spirit is a regular occurrence since the creation of Allah till the day of resurrection, and the place of descent is a thoroughly purified heart (Ahzab: 33). Therefore there should be such a purified heart in existence at all times.
Imam Muhammad bin Ali al Baqir said:
"Present this surah as a decisive argument for the continuity of the divine vicegerency on the earth."

Verse 36 of Nahl says: "Worship Allah, and keep away from all other (false) idols". So man has been ordered to worship Allah alone. It may also be interpreted that the purpose of command is to enable man to obey as well as to test his readiness and willingness to obey as stated in v 143 of Baqarah in connection with the change of Qiblah.
In carrying out the divine orders, niyyat (motive) is very important.
Submission to the will of Allah and service to mankind is dinul qayyimmah (the right religion).

Verse 6 refers to the first stage of resurrection. At the stage of judgement intercession (see Baqarah: 48) will be allowed to whomsoever Allah wills and gives permission.

Besides the reference to the expedition of "Zatus Salasal", the first 5 verses may also refer to camels or horses used by the believers in war against the disbelievers, or for going to pilgrimage.

In this surah reference is made to that which man will see and experience in the hereafter as the consequence of his over indulgence in the accumulation of material possessions. He will look back on a wasted life. It is because of this that a visit to graveyards is highly commendable. When the time comes man lies down in his grave and leaves the pomp and material gains behind. By looking at the grave of a man who left behind an empty life the true reality of the hereafter appears and warns us to strive for the accumulation of good deeds which alone will deliver us on the day of reckoning.

Asr literally means to wring out or press out implying squeezing or a squeezed object. It has been used figuratively for time in the sense of unfolding of the future by squeezing the past. The following two verses justify this interpretation.
The state of squeezing and unfolding in relation to the events taking place in "time" represents imperative proviso of the Imam as a microcosm and a medium between the finite and the infinite, therefore the Imam has been termed by the Ahlalbayt as mardar al dahr (axis of the age), the actuating force behind every activity.

The event narrated in this surah is a miracle. It proves the sanctity of the Ka-bah and the strong faith of Abd al Muttalib, the grandfather of the Holy Prophet, in Allah. When this chapter of the Quran was recited by the Holy Prophet before the Quraysh unbelievers no one raised any voice to belie him.
see  chapters ad Duha and al Inshirah for the inter-relation of those two chapters and of al Fil and al Quraysh, the next chapter.
The faith of Abd al Muttalib in the oneness of Allah is proved by his following supplication:
O Lord, there is no hope (of receiving help from any quarter) to stop them (Abraha's army) save from You,
O Lord, therefore do not let them have Your protection because he who is the enemy of Your house is Your enemy,
Verily they (the enemies whoever they are) cannot defeat Your power.

As stated in the commentary of Inshirah although the surahs al Fil and al Quraysh are separated by bismillahir rahmanir rahim, they are one, the latter is supplementary to the former.

This chapter guarantees abundance in every type of growth and profit to the Holy Prophet.

Nahr, in v 2, means sacrifice. It may also mean "raising of hands" in prayer whenever Allahu akbar is said.

In the spiritual state of realization the Holy Prophet saw every being in submission to the will of Allah in the light of v 84 of Ali Imran.

No relationship whatsoever, even with the Holy Prophet, can be of any advantage to the disbeliever. Abu Lahab, an uncle of the Holy Prophet, will burn in the blazing fire. On the contrary, it is noticeable, that Salman, a Persian outsider, through his faith and submission to Allah, the Holy Prophet and his Ahlalbayt achieved the highest distinction of being included in the Ahlalbayt.

111:2-5 (see v 1)

The spirit of the absolute unity of Allah is the foundation of the structure of the religion of Allah, Islam. This surah, which explains the unity (tawhid) of Allah, was revealed to give an idea of Godhead the Holy Prophet preached.
It begins with huwa (He) which refers to the known, known to all, but not identifying any one. see  Fatihah: 1 and Baqarah: 255. In the Aryan creeds atma and brahma is one, therefore "I" (first person singular) is used by them to refer to the conception of the absolute.
Ahad signifies the unity of His essence. He is free from compositeness. According to Imam Ali bin Husayn Zaynal Abidin samad refers to the supreme being that continues, or continues for ever, or is everlasting, or is the creator of everything of whom nothing is independent, or is dependent on no person or thing but all persons or things are dependent on Him, therefore the eternally besought by all. He cannot be described or defined as one void of any excellence, or any excellence void of Him, He is infinite.

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